SACRAMENTO, Calif. — More than 1 million older Californians are receiving postcards in the mail chock full of information about COVID-19.
AARP has teamed up with the California Department of Aging and Gov. Gavin Newsom to offer tips on how to get basics, like food and medicine, delivered if needed. Patricia Perez, state president of AARP California, said the printed cards are targeted at seniors who may not be comfortable accessing information online.
“It has been verified and it’s simple, and it also includes phone numbers,” Perez said. “So yes, websites if you have access to them. But if you don’t, phone numbers where you can call, leave a message or speak to someone.”
The stay-at-home orders have forced the cancellation of family visits, volunteer jobs, exercise classes and social gatherings. So the postcards encourage older Californians to stay socially connected in order to combat loneliness, anxiety and depression.
Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging, said the cards also tell people how to report elder abuse or suspected fraud – and they encourage everyone to reach out and make sure parents, grandparents and older friends are hanging in there during the lockdown.
“So, we want to encourage folks to make check-in calls, to know about warm lines and hot lines to reach out to and frankly, to stay safe,” Wade said. “If wellness checks are needed or if fraud is suspected, we want people to know how to get that information.”
The cards also include numbers for the California COVID information line, the Alzheimer’s Association, the counties’ local services hotline, and the state Department of Aging. Information is also available online at AARP.org/coronavirus.