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Coroanvirus Plan of Action

Senior Nutrition--Congregate Setting


Provides over 2 million meals annually in congregate settings (like senior centers or high rises)


Concerns:  Direct contact with older Tennesseans in a group setting


Continue providing meals at the discretion of the regional directors.  Monitor attendance and health conditions of the area.  If necessary, shut down and provide individuals with frozen meals or shelf stable meals that they can pick up (or shift to home delivered for those who cannot pick up).  Also, we would strongly recommend that any scheduled "pot-lucks" at a congregate site be postponed for the immediate future.


Senior Nutrition--Home delivered meals


Provides meals on a daily basis (in most cases) to individuals


Concerns: Essential service to individuals at their home by volunteers (direct contact)


Continue essential service; watch volunteer count for providing service; if volunteers drop, go to delivery of frozen meals (can go 5 or more at a time).  Also, take the additional step of placing a week's worth of frozen or shelf stable in the home.  Any assessments required of particpants to be done by phone. 




Provides homemaker, personal care services, and meals to individuals at their homes allowing them to remain in their homes (non-Medicaid eligible)


Concerns:  Direct contact by entities contracted to provide specific services to indoividuals who have high needs


Continue with caution; entities need to monitor both employees and individuals that are served; both initial assessments and reassessements for particpation in the program to be done by phone for the next month.  Indivduals who are visiting in a home should know the basic questions (which are allowed to be asked) to determine whether there is any likely chance of a client being sick.   


Senior Centers


Gathering areas for seniors to meet and socialize; sometimes congregate meal settings


Concerns:  Direct contact and a gathering place for older Tennesseans


Senior Centers reporting in that they have not seen a drop in attendance.  Centers are cautioning particpants to take all necessary precautions at the Center and at home.  At this time, senior centers can remain open subject to the discretion of the regional coordinator working in conjunction with the Senior Center Director.  Directors need to continue to stay informed of changing situation in their areas and continue to require particpants to take the necessary safeguards.  


Public Guardian


Guardians taking care of individuals that cannot make decisions for themselves; the majority of these individuals are in nursing homes


Concerns: most of these individuals are in bad health and are located in nursing homes; guardians are required by policy to visit these individuals monthly to monitor their health and well-being


Guardians can do their main duties (financial and healthcare decision-making) without visiting the individual; all visits, unless there are emergencies or special circumstances where Guardians are providing essential services, are suspended through the end of the month




Advocate for individuals in nursing homes and assisted living facilities


Concerns: Advocates go into facilities to talk to residents


Ombudsman have the ability (by law) to go into nursing homes and/or assisted living facilities because of their duties; however, Ombudsman are being directed not to go into facilities (through the end of the month) unless there are specific requests that rise to a level where an advocate must meet with an individual (abuse call, etc.).  Ombudsman should deal with matters on a case-by-case basis.




Program for individuals that have been abused and need services


Concerns: usually direct contact


Program is essential; program continues with CREVAA advocates requested to do as much work by phone.  Again, caution is required and each case should be viewed on a case-by-case basis.




Medicare Assistance


Concern: we do one on one counseling with seniors about Medicare


For the immediate future, all SHIP counseling shall be done by phone


SAIL Program


Exercise Programs


Concern: bringing people together in a facility for exercise


The majority of these programs are located at senior centers.  If senior centers stay open, programs can continue with same safeguards in place (as for other programs at senior centers).


Family Caregiver


Respite Program for Caregivers


Concern:  providing people to give caregivers a much needed break


Could be considered a very essential service; regional directors are given discretion to monitor and temporarily shut down respite if necessary, depending on the situation


Senior Transportation


Transportation providers giving rides to older Tennesseans to doctor's offices, pharmacy, or grocery


Concern: Direct Contact with older Tennesseans


Essential service for older individuals; HOWEVER, if someone needs transportation to doctor because they are experiencing sickness, those calls should be referred to proper medical personnel so that individuals can be properly responded to (including who should properly transport)    


SeniorTrust Programs


Senior dental, senior transportation, senior affordable housing repair, senior legal assistance


Programs administered by TCAD but funded through the Chancery Court; performed by various grantees.  Each requires direct contact with individuals; senior dental in particular  


Grantees must monitor their programs and report in to the Commission on Aging; will continue to provide each grantee with latest information and then rely on their individual judgment


Information and Assistance


Provide resources and information over the phone


No direct contact


I and A employees needed to be provided with up-to-date information on relevant information (facilities that are closed, senior nutrition, etc.), as well as with basic information about what to do to stop spread (wash hands, etc.) I and A individuals are not medical personnel; they also need to be instructed on who to refer any type of medical calls to (doctors, hospitals, etc.)  All I and A divisions must have back up emergency plans in place (and presented to the Commission on Aging) in case regional offices are closed.  I and A must be able to operate from alternative sites.