FCA moves senior services online in face of coronavirus outbreak

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FCA moves senior services online in face of coronavirus outbreak
Marie, an FCA client, receives a package of food from FCA’s dedicated senior staff. The shelf stable food package was provided by the Nassau County Office for the Aging. Clients like Marie are afraid to go out to the store and FCA staff are dropping food at their door.

The Family and Children’s Association, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Mineola that provides support to vulnerable communities on Long Island, is now offering its senior programs remotely due to social distancing protocols.

FCA is continuing its Friendly Visiting Program by phone. Any senior who would like to participate in the program should contact Jessica DiCarlo at jdicarlo@fcali.org.

Isolation can be as dangerous as some illnesses to seniors, according to the FCA. Loneliness and isolation have been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.

FCA has seen a 20 percent increase in calls to the senior services department since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want Long Islanders to know that FCA is here and willing and able to help,” said Lisa Stern, assistant vice president of Senior and Adult Services at FCA.  “Our staff continues to work closely with NY Connects, Nassau County Office for the Aging, the senior center programs and hospitals to reach out to all seniors in need.  We have over 300 active clients in our case management program who have been very appreciative of having case managers check in on them regularly.”

In addition to the Friendly Visiting Program, the organization is continuing to offer the Linkage Project—a short-term mental health counseling program—as well as a financial counseling program via phone. The FCA SOS team, which fields calls regarding potential abuse of seniors, will continue to operate as well.

With visitation suspended at most assisted-living facilities, FCA is working to ensure that seniors can contact their families in other ways. Ombudservice Program volunteers work with assisted living facility staff to connect residents with family members through phone calls.

FCA chore workers are still available to deliver food and prescriptions to seniors, although they are no longer going into clients’ homes.

Seniors seeking to utilize any of FCA’s programs are encouraged to contact the FCA senior program at (516) 292–1300.

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