Council on Aging Daily Update

 Updates, Thursday March 25th, 2022 

 It’s been a long haul over the past year for everybody but especially those of us  with friends and relatives residing in nursing homes. I have heard from quite a few folks who were unable to visit family members or had to wave at them from the other side of a window. It was hard and I understand how difficult that has been on everyone. That’s about to change with the new guidance being issued from Boston. Here they are;

Visits may now occur in resident rooms when both the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated, without social distancing. Masks should still be worn during visits.Visits no longer need to be scheduled in advance unless scheduling is requested by the facility.

Congregate activities that require residents to be closer than six feet apart can resume, such as card games, dining, and watching movies, if residents are fully vaccinated.

Residences cannot require visitors to show proof of vaccination or prevent unvaccinated visitors from entering the residence. However, if visitors are not yet vaccinated, visits should occur in designated spaces with appropriate social distancing, with the exception of compassionate care visits.

Residents who are fully vaccinated and return to the facility from another setting do not need to quarantine for 14 days.

Most of you know that we’ve been spending most of our time since the end of january helping to arrange local housing vaccination clinics, helping people to acquire appointments to receive vaccinations, managing sometimes rather huge wait lists associated with vaccinations and believe me, we can all recite the registration questions for the so called Prep Mod system for vaccination registrations by heart. And…we will probably be able to do so for the rest of our lives. Another gift from Covid-19.

The majority of our friends have managed to get in at the North Adams clinic at St. Elizabeths, some have gone to BCC and one guy wanted to go to Fenway Park because he wanted to see the “Green Monsta”. Anyway, we’ve tried to help everyone who called and this has included individuals from neighboring towns who needed help. We could help almost everyone who was eligible except for those who are homebound and cannot get out. There was no access for them, until now. As always there are criteria for these programs, and that is true here as well. So here are the criteria for the new homebound vaccination program and the contact information to reach them and schedule an appointment;

In-home vaccinations are for homebound individuals who are not able to leave their home to get to a vaccination site, even with assistance. These individuals require either:

1. Ambulance or two-person assistance to leave the home, or

2. Are not able to leave the home for medical appointments under normal circumstances, or

3. Have considerable difficulty and/or require significant support to leave the home for medical appointments.

Individuals who are homebound and require an in-home vaccination can call the State Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line, operated by MassOptions, to be screened for appropriateness for an in-home vaccine and connected to resources to schedule a vaccination.

The Homebound Vaccination Program Central Intake Line ;1-833-983-0485 ‘Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

A final note; as we were answering all the calls for vaccine appointments we were also scheduling people to participate in the AARP Tax Aide program to get their taxes done and filed. This year’s session continues until April 15th however there are no slots left, program intake is closed and there won’t be new registrations until we reopen the lists in January 2022. Sorry about that.

Later!

Brian

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