COVID-19 Resources and Information for Consumers

 

A Letter from the GLSS CEO

To our valued consumers,

As you may know, I began my new role as Chief Executive Officer at GLSS on March 16. I am very, very happy to be leading such an amazing team of people, who continue to diligently carry out GLSS’ important mission of serving adults age 60 and older and people living with disabilities, even at this unusual time.
It is my honor to report to you about the outstanding efforts made by this agency on behalf of you—our valued consumers—as well as our staff. I must say though, I wish I was writing in a less stressful time for us all. We are critically aware of the extra difficulties many of you are facing right now and are doing our very best to balance the delivery of services with your safety and that of our staff.

Let me start by updating you on what we are getting done either onsite or remotely: the short answer is just about everything! Below is an update on our current operations:

  • GLSS is following all state and federal guidelines regarding the safety and well-being of both staff and consumers.
  • Several staff members are dedicated to monitoring the ongoing situation and providing daily updates to the senior leadership team. Things have been changing quickly, and we are doing our very best to respond as rapidly as possible. This sometimes means changing the ways services are delivered.
  • Meals on Wheels will continue to operate, with GLSS staff delivering hot and frozen meals several times per week instead of each day.
  • Currently, congregate meals—or those normally served in places like senior centers—are being provided as prepackaged “grab and go” lunches and can be picked up at the Lynn Senior Center (8 Silsbee Street) on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon.
  • Area senior centers will remain closed until further notice from local public health departments.
  • As many GLSS staff as possible are working remotely, and office hours have been significantly reduced for just a small number of essential workers.
  •  Home care staff, protective services case workers, and clinical counselors will be connecting with consumers by telephone and only visiting when absolutely necessary.
  • Our answering service is forwarding all calls to designated staff.

I wanted to give a special shout out to our Transportation Department and acknowledge the huge challenges the staff there face every day in ensuring that many seniors and people with disabilities get to the places they need to go during this difficult time. Drivers, supervisors, safety teams, mechanics, and administrative staff have all come together to deliver an incredibly critical service within a context of great uncertainty. Many of our transportation staff are truly on the frontlines in the community, making sure that many folks who would otherwise remain isolated and without supports can access the people and places that, in some cases, are actually lifesaving.
 
GLSS will be disseminating information to both staff and consumers on an ongoing basis. Here is a link to a video regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19, which was developed by GLSS’ Media Team and has been shared internally among staff, on our website, and through social media platforms. We will continue to find innovative ways to help people stay connected to one another as best they can.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Kathryn C. Burns, MHA, Chief Executive Officer
Greater Lynn Senior Services

 

Mindfulness Matters

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Tune into Stillness
A tip for fostering tranquility 
An effective way to develop inner calm is to place your attention on something that is already calm—this could be a tree, a cloud, a building, or an item on a shelf. Notice which parts of your experience feel still or relaxed and make the decision to rest your mind there. This is relatively easy if we are in a quiet place, but it is just as possible when we are somewhere noisy and busy—you will find moments of stillness everywhere if you look for them. Finding stillness and turning the mind there means you can have access to rest wherever you are.

 

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Where is My Mind Now?
A tip for staying focused and in the moment 
The distractions of modern life pull our attention in a dozen directions, so becoming distracted and losing track of mindfulness is natural. If you find yourself overwhelmed by distractions, asking the question, “Where is my mind now?” can be a very effective way to bring yourself back into present awareness. Try repeating this phrase to yourself when you find your attention bouncing around, and over time, you will start to learn a great deal about where your mind tends to wander when left to its own devices.

 

Walk the Walk
A tip for focusing the mind through movement 
Physical movement brings us into the moment. When our attention is resting with the body and its movements, there is less room for agitating thoughts to spin us into worry. This restful but dynamic state is available all the time, and the best way to encourage it is to put all your attention on how walking feels as you’re doing it. Let yourself become the walking and enjoy how connecting and peaceful that experience can be.

 

Lynn Health Line

The City of Lynn in partnership with the North Shore Community Action Programs and the  Medical Reserve Corps is offering a Lynn Health Line where trained Medical Reserve Corps volunteers will be able to answer your questions and share information concerning COVID-19. 

Lynn residents can call the Lynn Health Line at 978-548-5798 from 8am-8pm, 7 days a week, or visit www.lynnma.gov/coronavirus for more information.

Kelly's Corner

In this video series, Kelly Daugherty, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, shares with you information and some strategies for coping with the current coronavirus outbreak.

Click here to see the complete Kelly's Corner video series.

Episode 10
Grieving the Loss of Normalcy
In the face of insecurity and the loss of the familiar, it is normal to experience feelings of grief. Kelly offers some insights into these feelings during the current health emergency.

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Other Helpful Links

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We have created a video related to the Coronavirus which contains information you may find useful and may not have seen or read about yet. The goal of the video is to demonstrate why this virus is unique and how efforts are being made to defeat it. This video is the beginning of a series meant to keep you abreast of best practices and the ways society is adapting as the disease continues to spread.

This video explains what's working to limit the spread of the coronavirus and what it means to "flatten the curve."

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COVID-19 Contact Tracing
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with Partners In Health, has created the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative. The program focuses on reaching out to the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients to help others who have been potentially exposed to the virus. When the MA COVID Team calls, you can do your part by answering the phone and providing helpful information that will help flatten and reduce the curve in Massachusetts.
How can I verify MA COVID Team is calling?
Our phone calls will use the prefix 833 and 857 and your phone will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Your information is strictly confidential and will be treated as the private medical record it is. Your information will not be shared with other agencies, including immigration officials. Additionally, we will not release your name to anyone with whom you’ve been in contact.
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/learn-about-the-community-tracing-collaborative 

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RAFT Program Information
The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program may be able to assist eligible households with up to $4,000 in a 12 month period with rent, mortgage, and utility arrears OR security deposit, and first & last month’s rent. For more information and to start the process of applying go to:

MA Department of Housing and Community Development: Lynn Housing Authority Pre-Application

Click here for a link to a helpful chart that compares the symptoms associated with a cold, the flu, allergies, and COVID-19.

Bryan Lamoreau, Volunteer & Event Drive Manager at SPUR Good Deeds, a Marblehead-based community volunteer organization, is offering assistance to people in Lynn, Marblehead, Salem, and Swampscott who may need some help at this time. The organization is now offering a grocery/prescription delivery service for those who need it. In addition, SPUR is offering dog walking and technology assistance (from a window or door). To find out more, click here to visit their website.

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Governor Baker shared this web app to help folks self-check COVID 19 symptoms.

Click the image above for some tips for those acting as caregivers for people with dementia. The basic rules of survival for caregivers, the “do’s and don’ts” of good dementia care and communication, are easily forgotten in the heat of the moment or when patience hits a low point.  Caregivers often forget they need to relax, refocus, and regroup in order to build patience, perseverance, and peace.