A Note to the North Shore Senior Center CommunityMarch 23, 2020
Dear North Shore Senior Center Community:
As our nation confronts this ever-changing pandemic, North Shore Senior Center is working diligently to ensure the health and safety of our staff while remaining committed to meeting the needs of older adults and their families. We are making plans to keep you and our community both healthy and connected during this uncertain time. We continue to work closely with state officials and are following guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
One of our greatest concerns is the social isolation of older adults. Staff is working hard to develop ways to connect virtually with members of our support groups and bring Lifelong Learning programming to the safety of your home. Please know that if you are homebound and need help, you can call us at 847.784.6000.
Here are some measures we are currently taking:
1. We closed our doors to the public on March 12 for the safety of our members, volunteers and participants. We will remain closed to the public until at least April 17.
2. Staff will begin working remotely on Thursday, March 19 through at least Friday, April 17. All staff is available via telephone and is checking voicemail throughout the day, Monday through Friday. They will return phone calls within 24 business hours. Please note that they are using their personal phones to return calls and may block their numbers to protect their privacy.
3. Adult Protective Services, Senior and Family Services and Senior Options employees are no longer making home visits. Instead, we are reaching out to participants by telephone. House of Welcome Adult Day Services is in touch with families and providing activity packets for participants of the Day Program and Mind Matters.
- Adult Protective Services: If you suspect abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of an older adult or adult with disabilities ages 18-59, call 847.784.6000 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or the 24-hour APS hotline at 866.800.1409.
- Senior and Family Services: For social services, please call 847.784.6000. Please note the Lending Closet is closed.
- Senior Options: If you are experiencing depression and/or anxiety, call 847.784.6000 and leave a message. One of our counselors will return your call within 24 business hours. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention hotline at 800.273.8255.
- House of Welcome Adult Day Services: Please leave a message at 847.242.6250 and someone will call you back within 24 business hours.
4. Lifelong Learning is reaching out to members and volunteers by phone to check in and stay connected. We are working on developing remote programming with some of our regular speakers. Stay tuned for more information.
5. Our maintenance staff is following CDC-recommended cleaning standards and disinfecting all areas of the Center and its offices. A deep cleaning and sanitization of House of Welcome Adult Day Services is also scheduled.
I am proud of our dedicated and resilient staff as they navigate ways to stay engaged with our community. I am concerned about the long-term impact COVID-19 will have on us all—the people we serve, their families, our communities and the Center. That said, we will continue to monitor developments, adapting our programs and services following CDC, IDOA and IDPH recommendations. We will share information as it becomes available on our website, www.nssc.org, and through our social media channels. If you are not already following us on social media, please connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
I'm already longing for the day that we can welcome you back to the Center but, for now, please stay at home and take care of yourselves. I encourage you to reach out to elderly and vulnerable neighbors or family members to say hello, see how they're doing and find out if they need anything. Despite my concern for what lies ahead, I am confident we can get through this (albeit virtually) together.
Wishing you well,
Tish Rudnicki, MSW
P.S. Amidst this international crisis, there are some good things happening. Please click the link to learn about 10 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 Outbreaks from Around the World.