In response to the Governor’s directive, all of SeniorLAW Center's physical offices are closed, but we continue to provide services to our older clients and communities who are disproportionately impacted by this crisis.

All staff are working and accessible remotely. Those needing our services should contact us by phone at:

Please see resources on our website with more information for older adults in these uncertain times. Join us in making extra efforts to ensure the older people in our lives are safe, healthy and connected.



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SeniorLAW Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Older Adults: Resources and Information

 

All of our physical offices are closed as of 3/16/2020 at 5 p.m.  However, all our staff are working remotely.

 

We encourage all older adults who need our services at SeniorLAW Center to contact us by phone:

  • 215-988-1242 (Philadelphia)

  • 610-910-0210 (Bucks/Montgomery)

  • 610-910-0215 (Delaware/Chester) 

  • 1-877-PA SR LAW (Statewide)

We have canceled all external events, including our community clinics, until further notice. We are working as hard as possible to continue our legal services for older people who need us the most now, as the virus disproportionately and profoundly affects older Americans.

While there is a lot we don’t know about novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), what we do know is that the most vulnerable among us – older people with underlying health conditions such as like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes — are twice as likely to suffer serious outcomes as younger people. For more than 40 years we have been there to help older adults face challenges in health, housing, financial exploitation and poverty. We are needed now more than ever and will continue to advocate, provide services and support as together we confront this health pandemic. We believe that all of us are responsible to make sure that older people in our community are not forgotten. 

SeniorLAW Center is committed to continuing to advocate and serve older people during this time of uncertainty. Please share your concerns with us!

 


 

SeniorLAW Center Cancels 2020 GALA

In light of concerns and uncertainty posed by the COVID-19, and in light of the urgent, disproportionate, and profound impact of this virus on the older client communities we serve, SeniorLAW Center has decided to cancel its March 21st, 2020 Gala. Read letter from Executive Director Karen Buck.

 

The Courts*

The courts in Philadelphia and many counties are closed with exceptions. Please visit the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts website for updates and resources. We call on the courts to address the pressing concerns of all litigants, including older and vulnerable individuals, and grant continuances as a matter of course. 

*See below for more information by county on closings, resources and updates.

 


 

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The CDC stated 80% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are 65 and older. This suggests, members of our population who are age 60 and older are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.  The CDC offers this advice for older adults and people with chronic medical conditions who are at increased risk for COVID-19:

  • Have a plan
  • Know who will take care of you in the event a caregiver gets sick
  • Reach out TODAY to your health care provider to get reserve supplies of your medication
  • Make sure you have a few week supply of food and household items so you don’t have to go out
  • Keep aware of what is happening in your community and if the virus is spreading (commonly referred to as community spread) stay inside and avoid crowds.

 

 

Information from CDC and Johns Hopkins

There is a concern that the health care system will be overwhelmed if the virus escalates and people start flooding hospitals and emergency rooms. Therefore:

  • If you think you are sick with fever, cough and trouble breathing it is recommended you first call your health care provider or doctor.
  • Only go to the hospital if you cannot contact your doctor and if possible have someone call ahead to alert the hospital you are coming.
  • It is recommended people get a Flu Shot.
    • Although the shot doesn’t protect against COVID-19, Influenza is a serious illness and hospitals are trying to keep beds available for potential COVID -19 patients.
  • There is no research to show that pregnant women are at risk from COVID-19, or that the disease passes to a baby during pregnancy. However this virus is new (that is why they call it novel), so data is limited.

 


 

Important Links for More Information for Older Adults

 

The Administration for Community Living Website (ACL) provides information on:

  • Benefits under the Older Americans Act
  • The Senior Nutrition Program
  • The State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
  • CMS Guidance on HCBS (Home & Community-Based Waivers) and Nursing Home Visitation
  • A Spanish language version for some of the information

 

Medicare and Medicaid Resources

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) says the cost of all testing for COVID-19 will be covered. Here are other Medicare and Medicaid Resource Guides:

 

FDA Alert
Don’t be the victim of a scam! There are no supplements or medications that can protect you from the virus. The FDA has cracked down on companies promoting fraudulent Covid-19 products.

 

Family and Domestic Violence

 

 


 

Updates from the Five County Region

 

Philadelphia County

  • City of Philadelphia Update on Latest News and Events
  • Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management: Information on the need for a plan, the items to include in your shelter in place kit, etc.
  • Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health – Tracks the reported cases in our area.
  • COVID-19 Text Alerts: Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline:  1-800-722-7112
    • Call the 24/7 helpline to speak with a health care professional.
    • Connects you to a clinician 24/7
    • Calls are answered by a recording that segments questions into 4 categories:
      1. Updates on most recent developments
      2. If you are a Dr. or Nurse reporting a case
      3. If you are concerned about your symptoms and need information
      4. If you need information on how this may impact your life
  • The First Judicial District of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia postponed Sheriff’s sales
  • PECO
    • PECO is suspending shut offs and waiving fees. PECO announced Friday March 13, 2020 that it would suspend shutting off power and waive late payment fees through May 1 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philadelphia-based energy provider is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility, providing power to more than 1.6 million customers and natural gas another 500,000 in the region. PECO is the latest of local utilities to put a moratorium on shutoffs. The Philadelphia Water Department placed a 60-day moratorium on shutoffs following a request from city councilmembers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. PECO also offers payment arrangement plans for people who may have difficulty paying their power bill. SeniorLAW Center is proud to partner with PECO in our work to protect the rights of older people and applauds this initiative at this difficult time for our communities.
  • PGW
    • Suspending Late Fees and Disconnections. Philadelphia Gas works is among many companies suspending late fees and disconnections as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. PGW has closed its customer service centers effective immediately, but you can still access account information online or pay bills a number of ways if you are financially able.
  • For any older adult experiencing abuse, we urge you to contact our helpline; please see the attached document for instructions regarding filing for Protection from Abuse Orders in Philadelphia. SeniorLAW Center leaders were instrumental in advocacy in this effort with our partners. COVID-19 has a disproportionate and deathly impact on the older Americans we serve, who are also facing enormous challenges in accessing the courts in these emergency situations. 

 

Bucks County

  • Effective 03/10/20, Neshaminy Manor is closed to all visitors due to the COVID-19 virus.
  • Over the weekend, county officials unveiled a new link on the county’s data portal to serve as a clearinghouse for public Coronavirus information. It can be accessed by clicking a link at the top of the county’s home page.
  • Under the State’s COVID-19 disaster declaration order:
    •  all restaurants, bars and dine-in facilities will be closed at 12:01 AM on Monday, March 16 in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties for 14 days.Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.
    • A six (6) foot social distancing is recommended. If at all possible, stay home and postpone in-person events.
    • As of Saturday, March 14, Governor Tom Wolf extended the Community Mitigation Plan already in place in Montgomery and Delaware Counties to Bucks and Chester Counties. All Bucks County schools will be closed through March 29th and all Bucks County libraries will be closed through March 22nd as part of precautionary measures.
  • Bucks County Seniors can call 267-880-5700 for assistance, as well as information on services such as meal delivery and independent care. This number is answered Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. After hours and weekends, seniors and their caregivers can leave a message and the Area Agency on Aging will return the call.
  • On the advice of the Bucks County Department of Health and suggestion from the State Department of Corrections, Bucks County’s prisons have closed to most visitors, including volunteers involved in community programs offered at the prison.
  • The Bucks County Health Department will be operating on extended evening and weekend hours to answer your calls and help with your concerns.
    • Please use 215-345-3318 or email to: COVID19@buckscounty.org. If the line is busy, please leave a message and calls will be returned as soon as possible.

Please read the most up to date judicial order from Bucks County.

 

Chester County

  • Chester County Government is operating on essential services and programs until Monday, March 30. Most Court operations will continue.
  • All senior centers, public parks, retail spaces, restaurants and non-essential services are closed for 14 days, updates to come.
    • West Chester Food Cupboard is open as per usual to the public.
  • All local State Representatives and Senators Offices are closed to the public, they are still taking calls to their Harrisburg phone numbers.
  • ROVER Senior transportation services are up and running, they ask that all seniors call their destination to confirm they are open before scheduling rides.
  •  La Comunidad Hispania (LCH) will remain OPEN for health and social services during our normal business hours at each of our locations (Kennett Square, West Grove, and Oxford).
    • However, all additional programs (GED, citizenship, cooking classes, etc.) have been cancelled for the rest of the month of March.
  • Seniors experiencing Homelessness: Please call 2-1-1 for emergency services

Please read the Chester County Administrative order from the courts.

 

Delaware County

  • The Delaware County Government Center will be closed to the public on Monday, March 16.
    • Government Center offices will operate with a reduced and staggered staff to ensure the continuity of government, however the offices will not be open to the public.
    • Residents can call government offices on March 16 but are not able to access the building.
    • The Delaware County Court of Common Pleas will be suspending all judicial operations on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17.
      • A Common Pleas Court Judge will be available at the County Courthouse during regular business hours to hear temporary protection from abuse applications on March 16 and March 17.
      • The Delaware County Magisterial Courts will be available, but only to conduct preliminary criminal arraignments and review after hours temporary protection from abuse requests.
      • On March 16, 2020 President Judge Kevin F. Kelly intends to file with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court an application under the Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Administration seeking authorization to declare a judicial emergency, which if allowed will access various additional authorities to further address this public health crisis and the court’s ability to continue to provide critically essential judicial services.
  • Residents should refrain from going to Emergency Rooms if they have symptoms and want to get tested for COVID-19. Local Emergency Rooms are not testing for COVID-19. If you have symptoms:
    • You should call 911 or 1-877-PA-HEALTH. Emergency Rooms are not testing and we don’t want residents to be in hospitals if it’s not necessary, where they are more likely to contract the virus or other illnesses.
    • If you have another health emergency—then you should go the ER as you normally would.
  • Under the guidance of the Department of Health (DOH), using his authority under the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration order, Governor Tom Wolf today ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities at 12:01 AM on Monday, March 16 in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties for 14 days to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited.

 

Montgomery County

Please see the most up to date judicial order from Montgomery County

 


 

Additional Links for Information

  • CDC.Gov – Provides comprehensive information on what you need to know about COVID-19 including who is at risk, symptoms and how to keep family, workplace, schools and also faith based and community service organizations safe.
  • Phila.gov/health  – Provides information on what the City of Philadelphia is preparing and general resources on how to protect yourself and others from the virus.
  • Health.Pa.Gov – Provides statewide numbers of cases in Pa. and information for older adults, pregnant women, people at risk for serious illness and others.
  • Coronavirus.jhu.edu – Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center provides public information on how to protect yourself, daily podcasts, answers to frequently asked questions and also a COVID-19 interactive map that tracks all active cases in the United States and globally including number of recovered cases and deaths.
  • Socialsecurity.govAll – Social Security offices now will only offer telephone service to the public beginning Tuesday, March 17. No in-person service will be offered. Secure and convenient online services remain available.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer’s vital, fact-based coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Elder fraud hotline – Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC)  has launched a new Elder Fraud Hotline and website, where help is available to victims of elder fraud. This hotline is a free resource for people to report fraud against anyone age 60 or older. 
  • Pennsylvania Home Care Workers Association –  Statewide resource for home care workers  

 

 

 

 

 

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