Push to Help Homebound Seniors Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

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As many older adults scramble to figure out how to sign up to get their COVID-19 shot, there are others who worry about finding a way to make it out to those appointments. 

"When we discussed her getting vaccinated, it really was a matter of transporting her," said Miranda Linden, a Claremont resident.

Linden's grandmother is 98 years old. She is unable to walk and suffers from dementia. 

“She doesn't really want to leave her home at this time. I think it's part of the dementia. She feels comfortable in that space so she kind of freaks out when she's not in it," Linden said.

According to the American Academy of Home Care Medicine, at least 2 million Americans 65 and older are permanently homebound and millions more can’t easily get to a doctors office.

As the pandemic continues, studies show there are higher rates of deaths in older adults compared to other populations.

"Those are folks that have chronic health conditions and are most at risk for having a bad outcome," said Paul Downey, president CEO of Serving Seniors.

Downey is the CEO of Serving Seniors, a non-profit organization that helps lolder adults who are of low income.

Downey says case managers have been hearing from hundreds of seniors who either can't book an appointment for a vaccine or just can't leave their home to get the shot.

For weeks, they've been trying to figure out a plan, and they finally got one. 

Starting Monday, Serving Seniors and other community organizations will work together with the county's 211 information service to sign up homebound seniors for at-home vaccinations. 

“Anything we can do to get the vaccine either to the building or to those who are truly homebound directly into their arm in their apartment or their home is critically important," Downey said. 

He says their names will be put on a list and someone will follow up with each senior and once a dose is available those seniors will get a home visit.

“Hopefully we get her vaccinated because it's one less thing we have to worry about with her,” Linden said.

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