With Access to Senior Resource Center Temporarily Restricted, Wellness Calls & Check-ins with City Seniors Continue
Like most other gathering spaces in the City, the normally bustling and boisterous New Brunswick Senior Resource Center has been temporarily quieted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Rooms that are usually filled with the sounds of our senior citizen population engaged in conversations and activities have fallen silent under the mandatory social distancing and crowd-size restrictions.
The center may temporarily be closed, but the City’s ongoing interaction and involvement with its senior citizen population are showing no signs of slowing down. The management and staff of the SRC and the City’s Department of Social Services continue to interact and provide support for clients through phone calls, emails, texts and regular wellness “check-ins.”
Armed with a list of names and numbers, staff members who normally exchange in-person handshakes and smiles with senior clients are now spending their days reaching out to them to assess their individual needs, hoping that the sound of a familiar voice may help put our seniors’ minds at ease in these unsettling times.
The simple thought of just asking someone “how they are doing” has never been so meaningful. The caller from the City will also inquire about the client’s food and water supply, or if they need prescriptions filled. They may also ask if the person has an immediate caregiver looking after them. Rest assured in the grasp of the COVID-19 pandemic every call includes a question about the client’s current health, and should the client appear to be even slightly symptomatic, proper instructions are shared on how to seek appropriate medical treatment.
To date, over 400 calls have been made to seniors since the center’s temporary closing. Those in need of basics like water and paper goods have received them. Seniors needing transportation have received assistance in getting rides. Hundreds of clients have been aided in everything from acquiring vital documents to securing licenses for their dogs.