The onset of the COVID-19 created a shift in employment causing record-high job losses across the nation. However, now that the world has returned to normal operations, employers have reported difficulty finding the workers they need to fill open positions. Centralina Workforce Development Board (WDB) and our NCWorks team worked together to help provide a solution.
Older unvaccinated adults are more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 in our region, Centralina Area Agency on Aging has been working to provide homebound seniors and others with educational materials.
The ombudsman program advocates for the resident who call our adult care homes and nursing homes their homes. We work to resolve issues of concern and advocate to protect the rights of those living in long-term care facilities. We also provide technical assistance to residents, the public and facilities.
The Centralina Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) helps older adults bridge the gap to retirement by providing paid job training for adults 55 and older. Although training for individuals in this age group is not common, there are several reasons why it is necessary. Adults in this age group may be too young for social security, need a second job in addition to social security or simply not be ready to retire. Centralina staff help participants develop employment plans to find jobs that match their interests, abilities and goals. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, in-person operations were derailed so Centralina AAA had to get creative with training methods.
Signed into law on March 11, 2021 by President Biden, The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), provides COVID-19 funding relief for eligible state, local, territorial and tribal governments. The purpose of ARPA is to support the public health response to COVID-19, address negative economic impacts, replace experienced revenue loss, implement premium pay for essential employees and make vital broadband and water/sewer infrastructure improvements.
Older adults and caregivers of older adults have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19. In an effort to remain safely distanced from others, caregivers and their loved ones have experienced social isolation, food insecurity and financial insecurity. And as they spent more time confined at home, they also became more aware of safety issues in their homes. To help address caregiver issues that have either arisen or become more obvious during COVID, the Centralina Area Agency on Aging Family Caregiver Support Program was granted funds through the CARES Act. These funds were allocated to provide financial relief to caregivers and their families with greater flexibility than previous funding.
Throughout the pandemic, our Centralina Area Agency on Aging Ombudsman have received numerous requests from long-term care residents and families to help increase visitation. One special type of visit is the compassionate care visit in which a family member or other visitor provides comfort, support and/or assistance to a resident whose well-being is suffering, at risk or who is dying.
What began as a small 100th anniversary event celebrating Cheerwine’s 1917 beginning in Salisbury has evolved through the years into the annual Cheerwine Festival. Within the past three years, the springtime festival has welcomed over 100,000 visitors, provided business opportunities for regional sponsors such as food, beer, arts and crafts vendors and brought a strong day of sales for downtown Salisbury merchants. Cheerwine, the event partner, also ties the festival to a charitable-giving opportunity for non-profit organizations in Rowan County. But when life began to shift due to COVID-19 after the first of 2020, festival planners were faced with a big decision: cancel the beloved festival or adapt to the circumstances.
On March 29, President Biden announced that the administration was taking further action to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines. One action included in this expansion is that, through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL), ACL would provide nearly $100 million to help increase vaccinations among older adults and people with disabilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected older adults and individuals with disabilities, especially more disproportionately than other demographic groups. As a result, many agencies and organizations that provide support reduced or curtailed their services in order to protect employees and volunteers from possible exposure to COVID-19 and to prevent the spread of the illness to individuals they served.