It is Week Four of social distancing in Wyoming and we thought it would be a good time to check in and let you know what we are doing at AARP Wyoming in between hand washings.
When we can't meet with you in person, TeleTown Halls are a great way to connect with you all. Two weeks ago, we were joined by Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and State Epidemiologist Alexis Harrist, MD on a TeleTown Hall. That call discussed the basics of COVID19, and how to keep yourself safe. We ended that call with nearly 3,000 members listening in. To see what the Governor and Dr. Harrist had to say during their TeleTown Hall, click here.
The success of that call has led us to plan two more TeleTown Halls for our members over the next two weeks. On April 15 at 6:40 p.m., we will be joined by US Senator John Barrasso, who will give us an update on the work of Congress to help stem the financial impacts of COVID19. We will start dialing out to our members through a 1-800 number around 6:35 p.m. on April 15. If you want to listen in on the TeleTown Hall but are not called by AARP, use this link to listen in.
On April 22 at 4:10 p.m., we will open a TeleTown Hall with Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon and Lisa Osvold of the Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division. In October, the First Lady started the Wyoming Hunger Initiative, and a COVID19 Task Force, which has given away $40,000 in grants funded by private donations to food pantries and anti-hunger organizations around the state. Perhaps even more importantly, the Task Force has developed a website, nohungerwyo.org with county-specific information on resources for those experiencing food security, or other needs.
Gordon will be joined on the call by Lisa Osvold, who is the administrator of the Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division. Osvold’s group oversees skilled nursing facilities, home, and community based services, and even state senior centers. She is a fantastic resource to help our age 50+ find services from food, to activities. Once again, we will start dialing out to our members through a 1-800 number around 4:05 p.m. on April 22. If you want to listen in on the TeleTown Hall but are not called by AARP, use this link to listen in.
We are also in the process of setting up webinars for those interested in learning more about the ways scammers are planning to use COVID19 to try to separate you from your money, as well as telehealth. With the COVID scare, the Department of Health tells us there are not 1,600 providers in the state taking telehealth visits, up from 400 just two weeks ago. That means more doctors willing to talk to you from the comfort of your own home.
We will let you know how to be a part of these events as we work out the logistics. The webinars will be free and open to all.
Volunteers Ready To Call Those Who Want One
One reminder, that in this time of social distancing, it is easy to feel alone and AARP has set up a web page you can click on to receive periodic calls from volunteers around the country. The calls are a part of an online platform launched by AARP’s Innovation Labs, called Community Connections.
To Those Experiencing Job Changes Due To COVID
While AARP has the word “retired,” in its name, the organization is open to all those age 50 and over, many of whom are still working. However, we are very aware of the seven-fold increase in the number of unemployment claims in Wyoming over the last two weeks.
If you have been impacted by unemployment recently, the state is providing pandemic unemployment assistance, visit the Department of Workforce Services website here for more information or to apply for unemployment insurance.
Stay safe folks,
Sam ShumwayState DirectorAARP Wyoming