Vulnerable older residents on Cape Ann and the North Shore are continuing to receive meals and home care services despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the agency that oversees the work.
Scott Trenti, the CEO of SeniorCare, said the Gloucester-based agency's contract workers are cleaning, assisting with personal care, and preparing meals in the homes of clients.
"In my mind they're heroes," Trenti said of the front-line workers.
SeniorCare provides elder care services for people in nine communities; Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Rockport, Beverly, Hamilton, Ipswich, Topsfield and Wenham.
Trenti said the agency's case managers have been calling the approximately 2,500 people under their care to check on them, starting with higher-risk clients. He said some clients who receive home care are cancelling those services due to worries about the coronavirus.
"This a bit concerning," Trenti said. "They don't walk folks in their home."
In those cases, Trenti said the agency can offer to go grocery shopping for the client while making a minimal amount of contact.
Trenti said all agencies who deal with older people are concerned about them becoming socially isolated and lonely.
SeniorCare is working with the state's Executive Office of Elder Affairs on providing personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns for the workers who go into homes, he said.
SeniorCare is continuing to deliver meals through its Meals on Wheels program. Drivers hang the bag of food on the doorknob and either call or make visual contact with the client to make sure they are OK, Trenti said.
Trenti said the agency is accepting new clients. Anyone with questions regarding SeniorCare can call 978-281-1750.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.