On April 22nd, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs' Secretary Elizabeth Chen joined AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa in conversation about how the state is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resources available to Bay Staters, and how to stay healthy.
If you missed the call, you can listen at the video below. Scroll down for a few key takeaways from our conversation with Secretary Chen.
1: "How do I stay safe?"
In a poll of call participants, over half answered that their #1 issue is preparation for and prevention of COVID-19. Secretary Chen doubled down on the importance of face masks, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face.
For official information about preventing the spread of Coronavirus, refer to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control.
Massachusetts residents can also visit Buoy.com/mass to get advice from an online health assistant safely at home, for free. This is NOT to be used for emergencies. If you have an emergency, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
For more health tips, see AARP's Coronavirus Health Resource Page
2: "I am worried about my elder family member. What do I do?"
We understand this is especially scary- whether you're their caregiver, you are worried about their safety in their nursing home, or even how to get them connected to daily services.
- The Nursing Home Family Resource Line 617-660-5399 is staffed from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, seven days a week. Staff will field questions on a range of topics and coordinate across state agencies to help provide answers.
- If you need help with meals, medicine or other kinds of support, or are caregiving for someone who does, contact MassOptions, your connection to local aging and disability services in the Commonwealth. MassOptions is a free referral service run by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. You can visit the MassOptions website or call toll free: 800-243-4636.
- Contact The Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) for information on tenant rights, legal help, food access and more.
- For an up to date list of MA resources, visit our blog post Information and Resources for Coronavirus in Massachusetts
3: "What is AARP doing in Massachusetts to support us during this Pandemic?"
Our advocacy team is working tirelessly for the 50+. Notable successes have included nursing home transparency and stimulus checks for those on social security. Updates and testimonies related to Massachusetts Coronavirus advocacy can be found on our COVID 19 News and Resource Page
For email updates on actions being taken locally and nationally, become an E-advocate