Adapting to Serve Communities
ACL programs address behavioral health, prevention of injuries and illness, chronic disease self-management, and more. During the pandemic, grantees have adapted services and outreach to serve and connect their communities safely. Here is a sampling of stories from the Aging Network. Click on a title to read the full article.
The University of Illinois at Chicago's grant centers on a wellness and recovery approach that helps people to decrease troubling feelings, improve quality of life, and achieve life goals. Partnering with National Women Veterans United, virtual meetings have allowed veterans to connect with peers and create personal plans.
In June, Guam’s State Office on Aging began searching for ways to supply healthy foods to seniors at home. The outcome is the “Mixed Local Produce Bag Initiative,” a win-win in the territory. Older adults and caregivers safely receive fresh fruits and vegetables, and farmers receive needed support during a tough time.
Michigan State University (MSU) has worked quickly to respond to a new virtual reality. The grantee has transitioned its tai chi classes for arthritis and falls prevention to an online format. The team worked closely with MSU Extension instructors and volunteers to create a checklist and guidelines for consistency and safety in classes.
In rural Erie County, Billygans Café joined the “Go & Dine” Senior Dining Program in February—just before the pandemic hit. The café has been able to offer seniors a healthy option for food via safe takeout, and the owners credit the program with helping them to maintain a sense of community and keep their business afloat.
As the world scrambled to react to the new reality of the pandemic, the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative was ready to pivot. With an active Facebook page already up and running, they started to discuss how they might respond to COVID-19 in February 2020. As a result, they were ready to ramp up virtual programming.