South Orange-Maplewood Provides Assistance — and Fellowship — for Homebound Seniors

by The Village Green
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Are you or do you know a senior in South Orange or Maplewood who could use some help or even just some good cheer to help get through the coronavirus period?

Happily, Two Towns for All Ages is here to help. A speedy and thorough response from Age Friendly Initiative Coordinator Cathy Rowe on a broad range of issues is helping area seniors with topics ranging from socialization to groceries to dealing with financial issues.

Says Rowe, “We just had the first Sing for Hope class and it was fantastic. It was an interactive movement class with about 24 seniors signed on. We are going to repeat it every Wednesday at 11am, and have a live concert through Sing for Hope every Monday at 1.”

There is also help for seniors having difficultly getting groceries. “For some people it’s not a matter of finances, it’s a logistical issue,” says Rowe. “Many seniors can’t shop online, they don’t use the ATM so they can’t get cash for deliveries, and [even if they use a credit card] the online delivery slots are full. We have been doing shopping through volunteers and doing some bulk grocery deliveries to the low-income senior apartment buildings.”

Many local businesses are donating food to the cause. “Miti Miti in South Orange is stepping up and delivering Mexican lunch tomorrow for one of the senior apartment [complexes],” says Rowe. “N & K Prime on Springfield Avenue has been extremely helpful in providing fresh meat to seniors, and Mary Vaya [of Village Trattoria] donated boxes of fresh fruit through her restaurant vendor.”

See below for more information on how Two Towns for All Ages can help.

For assistance or questions, contact Cathy Rowe SOMA2towns@gmail.com  or call (973) 558-0863.  

Introducing Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope, a non-profit dedicated to the power of the arts in creating a better world, has partnered with SOMA Two Towns for All Ages to provide Healing Arts experiences including Movement, Concert Series, Visual Arts and more to the Township’s senior adult population.

Sing for Hope‘s Healing Arts programming brings the healing power of the arts directly to you each week with Movement at 11am.  Lexi, a professional artist, will lead you through warm up, gentle choreography and cool down.  The movements are created to loosen your muscles and the enjoyable music will relax.  JOIN Lexi for Movement for Mobility –  enjoyable music and movement designed for you!

Join Zoom Meeting.

Meeting ID: 940 4520 3893

Barnes Foundation/Museum is doing a daily tour moderated by museum staff called “Barnes Takeout – Your Daily Serving of Art.”  It can be found on Youtube or on their website.

Phone a Friend

Please know that you are not alone. We have a wonderful group of volunteers, some adults and some high school students, that want to connect with you. If you would like to chat with someone new, take a moment to go to this website. Fill in your name, number and the town you live in on the home page.  Or call and leave a message at 973-558-0863, or email SOMA2towns@gmail.com. Please share with friends who are not online.

Another way to connect:

Join the new facebook page, “SOMA Senior Silver Society” to connect with local senior citizens.

CARES Act

This week, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the U.S. Federal Government began delivering “Economic Impact Payments” to eligible Americans. These direct cash payments to individuals and families are for financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic, and are sometimes referred to as “stimulus checks.” Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The IRS will distribute payments using the information that the IRS has on file for each eligible individual or family. For most of the recipients, payments will be deposited directly into the same bank account that they have most recently used to receive a tax refund or monthly Social Security payment. Others will receive paper checks in the mail, at the address that the IRS has on file for that individual. Banks cannot and do not provide personal account or address information to the IRS.

Direct deposits are posted for open accounts on the effective date set by the Treasury.

To determine your eligibility and when your payment will arrive, go to www.IRS.gov.

To protect yourself from fraud, visit  the Federal Trade Commission’s Coronavirus Scam Tips for tips on how to recognize potential scams and learn more about how to keep your accounts secure.

Grocery updates: Umbrella

It is difficult finding slots for online deliveries, and Umbrella is stepping in to help:

Umbrella is throwing all of our resources around the biggest need for seniors — access to food. Delivery services have weeks-long waits (and non-digital seniors can’t access them in the first place). We’ve set up a hotline where any senior in the state can call us at 973-200-4499 to ask for grocery delivery. They can also place an order online.  Young, healthy people are stepping up by volunteering to help shop on behalf of their older neighbors.

Reminder: Face Coverings

The Governor’s Executive Order requires “customers to wear a face covering when entering any essential business open to the public, with limited exceptions” (e.g. health-related reasons and children under age 2).

So, this is no longer optional. If you are not wearing a face covering, you can be denied service. In addition, you must properly dispose of your gloves/masks in the trash, not our streets, and please do not flush “disposable wipes.”

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