BRUNSWICK — Local senior citizen organizations are taking extra measures to help keep seniors safe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The elderly are among the most vulnerable to the respiratory illness caused by the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency has said people older than 80 or with serious existing illnesses are at the greatest risk and should take extra precautions. Health experts have recommended canceling large gatherings or events that would draw large crowds in an effort to break the chain of transmission.

Brunswick-based People Plus, a nonprofit that supports independent life for older adults, has suspended group programming starting Monday.

Executive Director Stacy Frizzle said there won’t be any classes, programs or clubs at the facility at the corner of Union and Cumberland streets. Members can access the internet, and tax assistance and the Meals on Wheels and Aging and Disability Resources programs run by Spectrum Generations will continue.

The Brunswick Area Teen Center, housed at People Plus, is also closing Monday for two weeks.

Frizzle said the agency’s volunteer transportation network will continue.

“We have almost 600 home-bound residents that we serve with free transportation through People Plus,” she said. “Right now the recommendations are that they stay home unless they really can’t.”

Volunteers will pick up prepared food and bring it to them. People Plus is partnering with Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program and Hannaford To Go for food delivery, she said.

People Plus will communicate daily, Monday-Friday, over local cable access channels: Brunswick (channel 3) and Harpswell (channel 14) at 3 p.m. and on the People Plus Youtube channel.

Meanwhile, Harpswell Aging at Home’s communication program, Seniors Connected, is expected to ramp up. Volunteers call seniors once a week to check in and share resources. It also could help seniors who are feeling bored and isolated at home.

Harpswell Aging at Home, a community-led organization helping older Harpswell adults age at home, is also suspending its weekly community meals, Lunch with Friends.

“Certainly, we know that we’re dealing with a vulnerable population and that people who have never needed support from any of our programs before may need support now due to their need to be isolated and remain as germ-free as possible,” said Surrey Hardcastle, chairwoman of the group’s food committee.

Through the rest of this month, any Harpswell senior can pick up pre-packaged hot meals at noon at the locations where Lunch with Friends would have taken place. Tuesday the meals will be at Orr’s Island Schoolhouse and Thursday at Cundy’s Harbor Community Center.

Anyone who knows a Harpswell senior who is isolated or who could use a meal should call Julie Moulton at (207) 330-5416 or email [email protected]

Hardcastle said the group hopes to continue the meal programs this month but it depends on whether enough volunteers remain healthy to cook them.

 

Darcie Moore — 207-504-8232

[email protected]

Twitter: @DarcieMooreTR

Darcie Moore — 207-504-8232

[email protected]

Twitter: @DarcieMooreTR

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