How Can Seniors Get Help During the Pandemic? A Resource Guide

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Some of the region's most most vulnerable members need a helping hand -- and people are stepping up. Have you heard about a story we should share? Let us know -- Ed.

2-1-1 San Diego lists several other food distribution services, including some that deliver to seniors, to veterans and one that provides meals that are kosher. For more on those, click here.

Non English-speaking elderly people can request free grocery delivery by emailing


Transportation for Seniors

Coronado Seniors Out and AboutScheduled rides for a nominal fee to medical/health related offices, grocery stores, banks1825 Strand Way, Coronado619-522-6302
Del Mar Transportation ServicesVan shuttle for Del Mar residents for local grocery shopping and Dial-a-Ride taxi vouchers, automobile rides for medical services225 9th St., Del Mar858-792-7565
Encinitas Out and About Volunteers take Encinitas seniors to grocery store, doctors,  pharmacy, senior center, other Encinias locations 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas760-943-2256
Go Go GrandparentSouth5055 Sweetwater Road, Bonita855-464-6872
Home Care ServicesProvides transportation and other services for homebound or disabled seniors2855 Hope Ave., Carlsbad800-562-2734
MTSAll areas1255 Imperial Ave., San Diego619-233-3004
Oceanside Solutions for Seniors on the GoProvides transportation for Oceanside seniors to and from doctor's appointments, pharmacies, grocery storesCountry Club Senior Center, 455 Country Club Lane, Oceanside760-435-5155
On the GoRides limited to medical, grocery shopping8788 Balboa Ave., San Diego858-637-3210
Point Loma Out and About Provides rides to seniors for non-emergency medical services and necessary errands. Weekly van shuttle to local grocery storesPeninsula Shepherd Center, 1475 Catalina Blvd., San Diego619-223-1640
Seniors a Go GoCurb-to-curb, door-to-door, or door-thru-door transportation services3860 Calle Fortunada, Suite 101, San Diego619-284-9281
SenioRideCall for assistance701 B St., Suite 1775, San Diego619-295-8393, ext. 314
Veterans Transportation ProgramProvides free round-trips to the VA Medical Center and to the Mission Valley clinic3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego858-552-7470 ext.7572
Vista Out and AboutTransportation for shopping and bankingGloria McClellan Adult & Senior Center, 1400 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista760-643-5284
Scripps Heart Hospital

Coronavirus Questions

Kaiser PermanenteThe hospital's resource line answers members Covid-19 questions7 a.m. to 7 p.m.877-813-7297
San Diego County Information ServicesCounty Health and Human Services Agency can direct patients to nurses who can answer coronavirus questions Dial 211 or go to
Scripps HealthA team of nurses will screen patients and, if warranted, connect a patient to a provider via video chat7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends888-261-8431
Sharp HealthcareAnswering patients' questions about Covid-19. Free online self-assessments are available here 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends800-827-4277
UC San Diego HealthUCSD patients can call the hospital's COVID-19 nurse line between  to get questions answered  8 a.m. to 5 p.m.800-926-8273

Additional Resources:

Care Coordination ProgramVolunteers assist with grocery shopping, companionship, organizing mail and paperwork, home safety, yard maintenance and moreConnection Center, 3860 Calle Fortunada, Suite 101, San Diego(619) 284-9281Many locations. Call to inquire
Covid19HelpersGrocery, medication pickupsAvailable to Point Loma and Ocean Beach residentscovid19groceries on InstagramPoint Loma, Ocean Beach
People's Alliance for JusticeCare packages for seniorsPackages include food and other household essentials619-354-8051
Poway Neighborhood Emergency CorpsCall for help picking up medications, groceries or other essential itemspowaynec@gmail.com858-668-1250


What if I Can't Pay My Rent?

On March 16, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order that authorizes local government to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19.

While a tenant will still be obligated to pay rent, tenants won't have to worry about the time limitation through March 31, 2020, though it is possible the governor will extend the order past that date.

The order applies to those who are unable to pay rent due to either a loss in income or an increase in medical costs due to COVID-19.

The county of San Diego took up Newsom's order and on March 24 approved a moratorium on evictions for residents and small businesses in unincorporated parts of the country. The measure will give the county's chief administrative officer the authority to work with financial institutions to halt foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions, and will allow the county Housing Authority to extend the deadline for recipients, including those who receive Section 8 support.

The city of San Diego also passed ordinances to halt evictions. Tenants must demonstrate a "substantial decrease in income or medical expenses'' caused by COVID-19 in order to qualify. It will not relieve a tenant of their requirement to pay rent or restrict a landlord from recovering rent at a future time. The emergency law will last until May 31.

Banks will be ordered to halt foreclosures of properties whose owners are unable to make mortgage payments.

The city will look for local, state, and federal economic aid packages to provide relief to landlords affected by the ordinance.

The San Diego Housing Commission will also not evict tenants from the thousands of affordable housing apartments under their control if they have experienced a decrease or loss of income due to COVID-19, a spokesperson said. Tenants using Section 8 housing vouchers will not be affected.

The city of San Marcos also passed an order to halt evictions.


What About My Pet?

The San Diego Humane Society wants to make sure pets are taken care of during the pandemic. The organization is distributing more than 70,000 pounds of pet food and supplies to families in need.

Anyone can visit the Humane Society's campus locations in Escondido (3500 Burnet Dr.), Oceanside (572 Airport Rd.) or San Diego (5500 Gaines St.) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to pick up a bag of dog or cat food, as well as other supplies, such as cat litter, pet treats and pet beds while supplies last.

The group is partnering with the San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Unified School District and other human service groups serving seniors in our community to make pet food available at their distribution sites.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center is partnering with Feeding San Diego to provide pet owners who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 with two weeks worth of food for themselves and their pets.

The food will be available via "drive-thru" at the center's Rancho Santa Fe location. First, pet owners must fill out a pick-up form here. The first distribution day is March 26 and more dates will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the organization.


I'm Worried About My Own or Someone Else's Mental Health

Taking the steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, like staying inside and eliminating gatherings of more than 10, may take a toll on some San Diegans. Be sure to check in on your neighbors and friends while maintaining a safe distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC 7's Ashley Matthews spoke to health care providers who are moving to video services to stay connected with their patients. She also lists several videos that may be helpful to maintaining your mental health.

Tips to Maintaining Mental Health
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has some tips to ensure you are maintaining your mental health amid stressful times:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about the pandemic, including on social media
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row


A Neighbor Assistance Program Hopes to Help Those at High-Risk for COVID-19

A local neighborhood assistance program is hoping to make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Marcos COVID-19 Neighbor Assistance Program wants to help their neighbors who are at high-risk of COVID-19.

“We came together on NextDoor, we kept on seeing people on the app saying that they wanted to help out elders in their community,” said Sandi Lord, a member of the program. “We said 'all of those who want to help out let’s all get together on a group phone call and get this started.'”

In a week, the group consisting of four built a website and started posting flyers on all public places throughout San Marcos including laundromats, apartment complexes, gas stations, and local health facilities.

The neighbor assistance program hopes to match volunteers who are under 60 are low-risk and healthy, with elders or others who run a high-risk in contracting COVID-19. They also hope to help those who are Spanish speaking.

They hope to help out individuals in getting groceries, picking up prescriptions, or other things they may need help with.

“One of the things we have offered to do as well was to call people periodically to make sure that they are OK,” Lord said.

This neighbor assistance program is only offered in San Marcos, but they hope other neighborhoods can start their own on this as well.

So far, they’ve had more volunteers calling to lend a hand than those needing help, but they hope to get more calls after they are done posting their flyers.

“If anyone needs help out there, we are more than happy to do whatever they need help with,” Lord said.

For more information, click here-- Brenda Gregorio-Nieto; March 25, 2020

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