Agencies in Chico work to protect seniors during coronavirus pandemic

Passages and Meals on Wheels devoted to helping seniors in our community are gearing up to protect and serve the most vulnerable population.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 6:05 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 8:52 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Passages and Meals on Wheels devoted to helping seniors in our community are gearing up to protect and serve the most vulnerable population.

Director for Passages in Chico, Joe Cobery says they’re limiting face-to-face exposure with seniors and moved most appointments to over the phone.

They also closed their group meal and nutrition sites, where seniors would gather to eat.

Cobery says they’re continuing meal delivery, but they are working on a to-go process for those who were involved in their congregate program.

"We’re working on contingency’s to get frozen meals available that if folks attended those programs we can work to give them five to seven frozen meals at a time," Cobery said.

A spokesperson for Meals on Wheels in Chico says they’re working with Passages and the city to continue delivering meals to seniors and those in need.

They say they’ve definitely seen an influx in new clients, and are doing about 130 deliveries a day.

Senior Executive Director at the Terraces Assisted Living Center in Chico, Tracy Freudendahl says their safety precautions have slowly but surely increased.

At first, it was limiting visitors, but now only medical necessities and hospice residents families are allowed inside.

Freudendahl says they’ve shut down their dining hall and are only serving food on paper products.

"And we’re delivering to the rooms if they want to come down cause we aren’t quarantined they can come down and take it back to the room and they can eat in the common rooms as long as it's under 10 people so we’ve canceled all of our big gathering and group outings," she said.

Freudendahl says they’re trying to keep the residents busy with activity packets, and crossword puzzles. Even every hour they try to hold small bingo games with 10 or so people, where they used to have around 40 playing at a time.

The North Valley Community Foundation announced $140,000 in grants to help several organizations including Meals on Wheels and Passages who are devoted to helping seniors.

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