Updated- March 20, 2020
In response to the rising number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in our community, Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is announcing measures to reduce risk for the older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities that we serve.
Coronavirus poses the highest risk for older adults and people with serious long-term health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people with high risk factors to limit close contact with other people and stay at home as much as possible in areas where the virus has been reported. The CDC also advises that healthy people practice social distancing to reduce the risk of community contagion.
SCES Executive Director Paul Hollings said the agency is working with state and local stakeholders to balance delivery of essential services with measures that reduce exposure.
“Our team is committed to helping the people we serve throughout this emergency, and we are taking steps to safeguard the health and well-being of our clients and staff,” said Hollings.
SCES is taking the following measures:
- Increased focus on providing supports and services via telephone
- Replacing congregate meals at affordable housing sites with home delivered meals.
- Kate’s Café and the Cambridge Connections Memory Café are postponed until further notice
- This list will be updated if additional measures become necessary.
The SCES offices will remain open during regular business hours, with most staff working remotely. For that reason, we ask that people requiring assistance call or use email, instead of visiting in-person.
Many of the recommended preventative measures fall under what is widely being described as “social distancing,” but Hollings said his preferred term is “healthy spacing,” saying SCES remains dedicated to providing reliable information, nutrition assistance, and other supports for healthy aging.
“Everything we do at SCES is about connecting with others,” said Hollings. “While we will be connecting face-to-face less frequently, our goal remains serving others. Rather than creating distance, I hope this crisis will ultimately bring us closer together as a community.”
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information, visit eldercare.org, follow us on Facebook or contact the SCES Aging Information Center for free advice and guidance by calling 617-628-2601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.