KEEP IN TOUCH WITH SENIORS AFTER HURRICANE SANDY
As recovery efforts continue in New Jersey through the holiday season, it is important that residents keep in touch with their elderly relatives, friends and neighbors, or anyone they may know with a disability or access and functional need.
Seniors or individuals with special needs previously living on their own may be dependent on others for food, shelter or the basic necessities of daily living. Those used to assisted living may face disruptions in their normal routines or a change in their usual caregivers.
Here are some simple ways to help:
- Arrange weekly or bi-weekly visits.
- Schedule a regular day when you can call to check in.
- Assist them in recovering their physical possessions.
- Help them return to familiar surroundings with friends and acquaintances as soon as possible.
- Make sure they have needed medical and financial assistance.
- Help them re-establish social networks.
- Monitor their nutritional and medicinal needs.
- If you do not live close, ask a neighbor of theirs to look in on them; make sure they have your up-to-date contact information.
Individuals with access or functional needs may include those who are non-English speakers or have limited English proficiency, those with special dietary needs or medical conditions, those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those who are visually or mobility impaired.
Seniors and other survivors can register with FEMA at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smartphone at m.fema.gov. Survivors may also call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585. For 711 Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362.
To contact the Area Agency on Aging in your county, visit www.state.nj.us/health/senior/sa_aaa.shtml or call the nationwide toll-free number at 877-222-3737. Anyone seeking mental health services can call the toll-free disaster mental health helpline at 877-294-HELP (4357) or TTY 877-294-4356.
Garden State residents can also call the New Jersey 2-1-1 hotline for more information on state, local and voluntary organizations in the area that may help with specific unmet needs.