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Services offered to seniors amid COVID-19

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COVID-19 alert

CHESTERTOWN — While Gov. Larry Hogan has not issued an official shelter-in-place order, in some cases, services senior citizens may rely on are being limited in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Several local organizations have rallied to help support seniors. Acme, for example, has reserved time from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday for seniors to grocery shop. Redner’s also has set aside time from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Dollar General is dedicating the first hour of its operations to seniors.

In a Facebook post, Bayside Foods in Rock Hall said it is expanding its home delivery services to anywhere in Kent County Monday through Friday. Call 410-639-2552 for more information.

Muriel Cole, co-chairperson of the Kent County Commission on Aging, said car rides to doctors appointments are still available for low-income seniors through the Kent County Department of Social Services. For more information, call 410-810-7600 or visit kentcounty.com/government-offices/kent-county-department-of-social-services.

Other organizations like Upper Shore Aging are remaining open, Cole said, in part so the organization can continue to deliver meals. Cole encouraged seniors who may have previously visited Upper Shore Aging’s senior center for meals to sign up for the Meals on Wheels service.

For more information on Upper Shore Aging, call 410-778-6000 or visit uppershoreaging.org/counties.php.

Cole said Upper Shore Aging also offers a grocery shopping for seniors service. For more information or to sign up, call 410-778-6000.

“We want to really reassure people that food resources are not a problem,” Cole said.

Cole also warned against scams aimed at seniors. If seniors receive a phone call offering a home visit to test for COVID-19, Cole said this is most definitely a scam.

“Of course, it’s always an exploitation. Someone will call you up and say, ‘We can come to your house and test you for the virus’ or ‘We have some new cure for the virus’ or something that’s not legitimate,” Cole said.

Karen Wright, executive director of HomePorts, said the organization is still offering car rides to doctor’s appointments for its members. She said HomePorts is discouraging people from seeking car rides to hair appointments, for example.

For more information about HomePorts, call 410-778-7458 or visit homeports.org.

Wright said because of COVID-19, HomePorts will not drive seniors to a doctor’s office unless there is a critical situation.

“And I have to be pretty sure that it’s critical. I want you to call your doctor and I want you to find out because I don’t want to put my volunteers at risk. I don’t want to put anyone at risk,” Wright said. “If I can keep everybody at home for the next two weeks, then I will. And that’s sort of what my goal is at this point.”

Wright emphasized members may still call if absolutely necessary. She said HomePorts volunteers are often “just as old as the members are in many cases.”

“We are keeping tabs on most of high-risk (members.) We know who has family near by and who doesn’t, that kind of a thing,” Wright said.

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