Caregiver Services Corps launched in Maryland to help seniors affected by COVID-19

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Posted at 2:19 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 14:19:41-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan announced the launch of the Caregiver Services Corps, a program to support Maryland seniors who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Caregiver Services Corps is able to quickly deploy volunteers and other resources to the homes of seniors who need urgent assistance with everyday tasks when their typical caregiver becomes unable to help them due to COVID-19 exposure, illness, or other challenges.

“Since the beginning of the public health crisis, we have been focused on the impact of COVID-19 on older Marylanders, and we are pursuing every course of action to protect their health, safety, and quality of life,” said Gov. Hogan. “This program is just another way that Maryland is leading the charge to support our most vulnerable residents, now more than ever.”

This announcement is yet another step in Governor Hogan’s ongoing actions to protect older Marylanders.

He has directed the Maryland Department of Health to order increasingly stringent health and safety protocols for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and established statewide strike teams that are deployed to facilities in need of support. He has also expanded the Maryland Department of Aging’s free Senior Call Check program, which places a daily check-in call to enrolled seniors.

Seniors or their loved ones may request assistance from the Caregiver Services Corps if a friend or family member who typically provides care becomes temporarily unavailable.

Volunteers can be deployed to seniors’ homes to provide assistance, including with maintaining daily hygiene routines, preparing meals, picking up groceries or medications, or connecting virtually with health care providers. Those in need of assistance should call 2-1-1 to be connected with the Caregiver Services Corps help center.

Trained staff at the call center will triage the caller’s needs and help match them with a volunteer. The call center is available 7 days a week and is capable of taking calls in many languages.

The Caregiver Services Corps is not intended to replace long-term arrangements for ongoing needs. Seniors and their loved ones should always work directly with their primary care physician or insurance company to arrange for such services.

“We are delighted to be able to provide the Caregiver Services Corps program to give older Marylanders reassurance they have support at this time,” said Department of Aging Secretary Rona Kramer. “I would also like to urge Marylanders to volunteer to be a part of this effort. You can help your neighbors in the community who need assistance.”

Interested volunteers are encouraged to sign up at the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps website.

They do not need to work in the healthcare or medical field to volunteer, and there are opportunities to provide support with in-home care or in non-contact roles.

The State of Maryland provides a range of essential services to support older Marylanders, including the Senior Call Check Program, which places a daily check-in call to enrolled seniors.

Other programs include nutrition and meal services, elder abuse prevention, and advocacy for older adults.