AARP Eye Center
*Updated as of July 2020
New York has been hit hard with the coronavirus, and being isolated at home can be overwhelming. But you’re not alone. Resources are available to help with your health, meals and stress.
“Stay home,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said, adding that if you have to go out for essentials like groceries or prescription drugs, maintain social distancing of six feet. “Just stay away from people... If you are a senior citizen, then hyper-cautious on all these points.”
The state has approved a new paid sick leave policy and has waived the seven-day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to coronavirus closures or quarantines. The Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging people to use online services. DMV offices are operating on an appointment-only basis.
Cuomo also announced that the state “will direct mortgage payments be waived for 90 days based on financial hardship.” There’s other temporary financial relief for New Yorkers: According to the state health department, telehealth copays have been waived, COVID-19 tests are free for eligible New Yorkers, utility shutoffs have been suspended, and state workers are monitoring reports of price gouging for items like hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
To watch livestream press conferences and stay current on information from Governor Cuomo here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/
Resources for health care
“Older adults with underlying health conditions, such as respiratory problems, diabetes, and other chronic conditions, are more likely to have serious COVID-19 illness,” New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said in an email to AARP. “People of all ages must be vigilant and stay home as much as possible, as well as follow existing protocols such as hand washing, using hand sanitizer, social distancing, and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve. Clean and disinfect often.”
Where to get help:
- New York State has set up a coronavirus hotline (888-364-3065) and a page on the health department’s website that includes locations of mobile testing sites for coronavirus and a coronavirus alert sign-up.
- NYS DOH website regarding Coronavirus:https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/
- NY Connects (800-342-9871) can connect you with local assistance on day-to-day needs like home care, transportation and meals.
- New York State County Health Office: Visit your county’s health department and aging office websites for more information on assistance and for updates.
- Association on Aging in New York has posted lots of information on coronavirus.
- Mental Health Resources
New York City health resources:
- Notify NYC: To receive real-time updates, New Yorkers can text “COVID” to 692692 (NYC-NYC) for emergency information and city services. Text “COVIDESP” for updates in Spanish.
- Dial 311, the city’s official contact number, for nonemergency issues. It’s the best way for older adults to ask questions about coronavirus guidance, updates and how to receive medical help for people with flu-like symptoms.
- The NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) is working tirelessly to support older New Yorkers who are currently under strong recommendations to stay inside, including:
- Transitioning all meals previously offered as take-home meals to a direct delivery system
- Making thousands of calls daily to older adults to make sure they have the support they need and are staying socially engaged
- Modifying many of our programs to offer telephone-based or virtual services
- DFTA Activities During COVID-19
- Converted to virtual services/programs: With senior centers closed, transitioned in-person services to virtual/telephone- based services – Senior center social engagement, Friendly Visiting, Geriatric Mental Health, Caregiver Support, Case Management, HICAP webinars.
- Virtual Programs: About 171 DFTA providers are providing virtual programming, over the phone and through video platforms like Zoom. Programs include fitness classes, arts & crafts workshops, comedy workshops, etc.
- Wellness Checks: On a daily average, providers are placing more than 10,000 wellness check-ins, social engagement, and case management calls.
- Social Isolation Campaign: Launched campaign focused on limiting social isolation among older New Yorkers during COVID.
- Free Tablet Program: The City distributed 10,000 free tablets, equipped with WiFi to older NYCHA residents. DFTA & OATS provided a step-by-step manual, online tech course, and a tech support call center.
- DFTA's Aging Connect, a contact center for resources, services and volunteer opportunities. New Yorkers can call 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) for information about services — like meals and transportation — available for older adults and caregivers, plus volunteer opportunities.
- DFTA's Case-Management Program, which connects homebound older adults with services, will continue accepting new clients. It’s conducting new client interviews over the phone during the COVID-19 emergency, at 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469). One popular Department for the Aging (DFTA) program that’s continuing through the crisis has switched from in-home visits to phone calls.
- DFTA’s Geriatric Mental Health (DGMH) mental health clinicians work out of senior centers, leading health and wellness programs and providing screenings. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the program will continue accepting new clients and assisting older adults with mental health needs virtually or over the phone. New Yorkers can call 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469) to learn more.
- NYC Well is the city’s connection to free, confidential mental health support. New Yorkers can speak to a counselor via phone, text or chat in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. New Yorkers can call 888-NYC-WELL or text "WELL" to 65173.
- The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides up-to-date information.
- DOH Site automatic alert - https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-updates
- How to volunteer - COVID19Assistance@Exec.ny.gov email has been created for anyone from the public or stakeholders to support State coronavirus response efforts.
- NYSOFA: To sign up for emails regarding communication strategies for the aging services network, click here
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/coronavirus_info/
- For mental health, substance use, crisis and safety resources:
- Call (800) 621-4673Contact NYC Well by calling, (888)-NYC-WellBy texting "Well" to 65173You can also visit: nyc.gov/nycwell
- Those most at risk for COVID-19 can register for testing online with OneMedical and use the code: NYCCARE30.
- New Yorkers with symptoms or questions about COVID-19 can call: 1-844-NYC-4NYC to connect to a medical provider free of charge | 9:00am-9:00pm.
Groceries, pharmacies and food banks:
- Some grocery store chains, like Price Chopper and Whole Foods, are offering early-morning shopping hours just for older New Yorkers. Most grocery stores have changed hours and delivery and pickup service policies, so check store websites.
- In New York City, meals are available through some senior centers and Citymeals on Wheels. In most communities, contacting the local case management entity or NY Connects will help point you in the right direction to receive meals.
- New York food banks to know about: Food Bank for New York City, the Regional Food Bank (of Northeastern New York and the Hudson Valley), the Food Bank of Central New York and the Food Bank of Western New York.
- Locate free meals for all NYC residents at: NYC Department of Education: Free Meals
For stress relief at home:
New York businesses and cultural institutions are here to help you.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a 360-degree tour.
- The New York Public Library and many local libraries offer free ebooks. Check your library’s website for more information on other community resources.
Veterans, Military, and their Families (VMF):
- AARP's FREE Resources to Aid Veterans, Military, Their Families Amid COVID-19 Outbreak: Veterans & Military Families now have “Free Resources to Aid VMF Amid COVID-19 Outbreak” housed at www.aarp.org/veterans that aggregates health & financial links to help the VMF community during the global pandemic.
NEW YORK STATE (NYS) GENERAL RESOURCES
- NYSDOH COVID-19 Tracker (Up to Date Statistics/Tables/Maps/Graphics for NYS): www.ny.gov/covid-19tracker
- NYS COVID-19 Testing Data: https://data.ny.gov/
- Price Gouging hotline: 800-697-1220
- Domestic violence hotline 1-800-942-6906
- To file a complaint with the NYS Department of Human Rights https://dhr.ny.gov/complaint#file
- Overnight Resources for Essential Workers | MTA - Plan transit alternatives for subway service from 1 a.m.-5 a.m., get updates on our Essential Connector program, and find other resources to help you get where you’re going during the coronavirus pandemic. As there are more details about overnight subway closure they will be found here: https://new.mta.info/coronavirus/overnight
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RESOURCES
- Guidance on Coronavirus Resources from AG's Office https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus
- COVID-19 Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activity: https://ag.ny.gov/covid-19-debt-suspension-application If you believe an employer is in violation of either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders you can contact the NYS Attorney General’s Office at (212) 416-8700or Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov
- Weekly Provider Update (Recorded Web Conference) https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/weekly-healthcare-provider-update
- Assistance of Qualified Medical Professionals Survey/Sign Up: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/assistance-of-medical-prof
- Retired Health Professional Survey/Sign Up: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/retired-health-professional
- E-mail address for NYC OEM that health care providers (PCP's, FQHC's, others) can use for supplies: Supplyrequest@oem.nyc.gov
NURSING HOME RESOURCES
- NYS Nursing Home General Information and Resourceshttps://health.ny.gov/facilities/nursing/
- Interactive Map of Nursing Homes in NYC https://profiles.health.ny.gov/nursing_home/#5.79/42.868/-76.809
- Families of nursing home residents who are concerned about the care they are getting can file complaints by calling 833-249-8499 or by visiting www.ag.ny.gov/nursinghomes
BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYERS
- Empire State Development (ESD) FAQ for businesses regarding State regulations and general guidance related to the coronavirus. https://esd.ny.gov/novel-coronavirus-faq-businesses. If your question is not answered there, please contact ESD at our website at: https://esd.ny.gov/covid-19-help
- ESD COVID-19 Related Resources - https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- Guidance for Determining Whether a Business Enterprise is Subject to a Workforce Reduction Under Executive Order 202. https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-202
- Dedicated ESD waiver email address: COVID19BusinessWaiver@ESD.ny.gov
- SBA Disaster Loans Info (ESD Link): https://esd.ny.gov/resource-guide-covid-19-sba-disaster-loans
- SBA Disaster Loans Info (Federal Gov Link): https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
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