Resources for Seniors during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Through the pandemic and beyond
By: Theresa Hilton
Everyone should follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local government to slow the spread and lessen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who are high-risk for contracting the virus should stay home as much as possible. That’s why our community has pulled together to offer additional services for those individuals, including seniors.
1. Meal delivery services: Columbus Community Hospital is currently delivering meals to those signed up for Meals on Wheels. The meals are prepared by the hospital’s Nutrition Services Department and are delivered by CCH staff members. For more information on Meals on Wheels through the hospital, call 402-562-4466.
Also, the Columbus Senior Center provides a meal delivery service. There are two programs available: “Regular” is recommended for three, four or five days a week; selected by weekdays, not by menu. “Temporary” is recommended for times of convalescence, illness or surgery recovery. For more information regarding food delivery through the Senior Center, contact Jean Sharman at 402-564-9293.
Finally, local restaurants are offering meal delivery due to COVID-19. Reach out to individual restaurants to see if the service is available.
2. Grocery and Pharmacy Delivery or Drive-Thru: The City of Columbus and the local Hy-Vee recently announced a partnership which allows people who are considered more susceptible to COVID-19 to order groceries from the store, over the phone to be delivered to their homes. Orders can be placed by calling 402-562-4212 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon.
Additionally, area grocery stores and pharmacies are offering online ordering services. Groceries can be ordered online and picked up at a specific time. Contact each store to get specific instructions on how to use these services.
3. Telehealth Appointments: Area medical providers are now offering over the phone, online or telehealth visits. Once appointments are scheduled, instructions on how to connect will be mailed or emailed to each individual.
4. Church Services: Several local churches are broadcasting services on television and online. Reach out to your church to learn how you can stay connected with your faith and your church community. This is also a time when family worship could be practiced. Consider reading the Bible, singing and praying at home or over the phone with family.
5. Virtual Visits: Isolation can create a sense of loneliness, which, in turn, can affect immunity and mental health. We encourage everyone to use technology to connect during this uncertain time. Phones, smartphones or tablets allow you to check in with family, grandchildren and friends. Schedule regular check-in times over the phone with friends and neighbors.
Columbus Community Hospital is working hard to keep our community safe and healthy, especially older adults and those who are vulnerable to illness. We’re rescheduling routine health care visits and connecting with patients through online and phone consultations instead of in-person visits, all in an effort to keep more people safe at home.
If you or someone else needs help getting access to health care, medications or other services, please call 402-564-7118.
Theresa Hilton is the director of patient and outreach services at Columbus Community Hospital.