The West Ouachita Senior Center received a Community Crisis and Disaster Response Grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation for $43,825. These funds are being used for the Senior Center’s Senior Adult and Community Supportive Services programs to purchase food, food pantry supplies and equipment; personal protection equipment; tablets for connectivity; supplies for care bags, diapers, and personal hygiene products; recreational supplies such as games and puzzles; individual exercise equipment; medical monitoring equipment and distribution of information.
The Senior Center’s goal is to address the immediate needs of senior adults caused by COVID-19 such as supplemental food and PPE’s as well as provide ongoing advocacy with connection and support resulting from isolation. Because low-income older workers are also facing unique employment barriers and financial stress, the services offered by the West Ouachita Senior Center include assistance with applying for unemployment, SNAP, Medicare and Medicaid.
The vast majority of older adults have one or more chronic conditions that put them at particular risk, and resources are needed to support access to digital health services, disease prevention by engaging in healthy activities and reduction of social isolation and loneliness. The ability to provide personal exercise equipment will allow seniors to engage in exercise in their homes while isolated and have more options at the Senior Center upon reopening. Tablets will allow seniors to connect with telemedicine for access to medical care more safely and easily. Personal care and hygiene supplies will also support good hygiene and disease prevention. Recreational materials will ensure that seniors stay busy with fun activities.
The Senior Center is also scheduling appointments for senior adults at the Center who may be in need of assistance. Some items such as PPE’s and personal care supplies will be distributed while others will be loaned as determined after assessment.
The staff of the West Ouachita Senior Center encourages senior adults who reside in West Monroe and West Ouachita Parish and their caregivers to call the Senior Center so staff members can assess their needs and determine how the Center can make these additional resources available to meet those needs.
West Ouachita Senior Center
1800 N. 7th Street
West Monroe, LA 71291