Resources are available to Wareham seniors during pandemic
The Wareham Council on Aging is closed to the public due to the coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped the town department from compiling information and resources to help Wareham seniors during the pandemic.
The Council on Aging urges residents to take all the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus. This includes staying home as much as possible, and washing hands frequently. When it is absolutely necessary to go out in public, people are urged to wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others. A bandanna, or a simple cloth over the nose and mouth can be used if no masks are available.
For questions, or assistance, call the Council on Aging at 508-291-3130.
For important resources, see the list below:
Old Colony Elderly Services delivers “Meals-on-Wheels” to seniors age 60 and over and disabled adults. Call 508-584-1651 to request these meals to be delivered to your home. If you have difficulty getting through to the first number, call the Council on Aging at 508-291-3130 for help.
Get help from food pantries.
The following food pantries in Wareham are available for those in need.
- Church of the Good Shepherd- 74 High Street. Takeout meals are available for pickup on Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. For further information regarding the Pantry’s hours of operation, call 508-295-2840.
- St. Patrick’s Church- 82 High Street offers food delivery only. People are asked to only use this service if they do not have any other transportation or food service options. For more information, call 508-295-2411.
Sign up for SNAP.
To apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, go to DTAconnet.eohhs.mass.gov to complete an application online, or call 877-382-2363. These sites are experiencing much higher than usual usage, so it may take multiple attempts to apply.
Get groceries safely.
The Council on Aging recommends shopping for two weeks at a time to minimize the amount of time spent in the store. Seniors should also have a friend or relative shop for them if possible. Be sure to wipe down grocery items with sanitizer wipes when you get them home. Delivery services such as Instacart are now backed up for several weeks, but seniors can reserve a spot now and plan for future deliveries. Stores are stocking shelves regularly. For more information call 888- 246-7822.
Set up a safety call.
The Plymouth County Sheriff Office Safety Assurance Program is free to all Plymouth County residents. It is a computerized telephone system that places a phone call to a participant at a prearranged time each day from 6 a.m. to noon to make sure the person is safe. To enroll, call 508-830-6200.
CVS and Walgreens are now delivering prescriptions at no cost.
Ask for transportation.
The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority provides rides to and from stores, doctors’ offices, and other essential locations. Transportation can be arranged by calling 800-483-2500. The bus schedule is online at gatra.org.
Apply for fuel assistance.
The deadline for applying for fuel assistance is April 30. The Council on Aging is not accepting fuel assistance applications at this time due to the coronavirus, and applications cannot be mailed. To apply for fuel assistance, call the South Shore Community Action Council at 508-746-6707 and select option #2.
Apply for unemployment benefits.
To apply for unemployment benefits, go online at www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment.
Applicants must call on a day that is designated by the last digit of their Social Security number. Monday is 0 or 1, Tuesday is 2 or 3, Wednesday is 4,5, and 6, Thursday is 7,8, and 9. Friday is open to any social security number.
Government Stimulus Checks are on the way.
Congress recently passed a bill to provide cash payments. Individuals will receive up to $1,200, couples $2,400 and $500 per child. Payments would decrease incrementally for individuals with adjusted gross income of more than $75,000. Those who have submitted their taxes electronically will have money deposited directly into their bank account. It is unclear how the money will get to everyone else, if checks are mailed it could take weeks or even months. The Treasury Department and the IRS have announced that Social Security recipients who do not typically file taxes will not have to file a return to receive stimulus payments. At this time, tax preparation has been discontinued in the Council of Aging. All previously scheduled tax prep appointments have been canceled. The IRS has extended the deadline until July 15.
Hear a friendly voice.
For those who would like to hear a friendly voice during these challenging times, The Council on Aging may be able to provide a “phone pal” someone to talk to when you’re feeling lonely. Call 508-291-3130 to ask for a phone pal.