Elevate Energy has a history of working with older adults to provide free small home repairs to help them stay in their homes throughout old age. With our home repair work postponed due to stay-at-home orders, our staff started making check-in calls to the 83 older adults enrolled in our program. During our conversations, it became clear that many seniors did not have a safe way to get groceries. Here are just a few of the situations we heard during those calls:
“A neighbor was taking me to the store, but they’ve stopped due to the virus.”
“I’ve been going to the store when I could. But I haven’t been out much, and supplies have gotten low.”
“A friend will take me to the food pantry, or sometimes I take PACE to get the specials at the grocery store. I’m disabled.”
Mary S.’s story is a good example of the circumstances our older adults are facing. For the past year we’ve been working with Mary, a 73-year-old semi-retired schoolteacher, who substitute teaches to supplement her fixed income. Mary is a longtime leader in her community who neighbors rely on for help and information.
We learned that Mary’s daughter is an essential worker and hasn’t been able to pick up and deliver groceries to her mother. Mary was rationing food and stressing over when and where it would be safest to get groceries herself. She took us up on our offer to purchase and deliver groceries so she doesn’t have to leave the house to shop. Mary has received two grocery orders so far, and we will continue the deliveries through the pandemic.
“The grocery deliveries have been very helpful to me because I haven’t had to go out and look for food. Other seniors I know are immobile, and they are very glad to have food delivered to the door. I’m very grateful you all were able to do this, I appreciate it so much.”
We’re here to help. Read and share our COVID-19 resources page with information for tenants, building owners, contractors, and families.