RSS Response to Covid 19
As we have for over 45 years RSS is committed to serving older adults here in the Northwest Bronx.
Our physical center is closed right now, but the programs and services that make RSS so vital to the neighborhood (whether you're a member or not) are still in place. Here's what we've been doing since NYC was asked to self-isolate:
- Social work services are offered remotely by our licensed social workers and counselors. Our grief, caregivers, and savvy solos groups have continued without a beat - more needed than ever as the emotional issues related to isolation grow in impact. We will be adding a group focused solely on the emotional impact of Covid 19 on the lives of our members.
- Food - Food insecurity has been a huge challenge for older adults since March. RSS has been at the forefront here working closely with the city to ensure that older adults get the food they need. We have literally made thousands of calls and emails related to food issues. Our elected officials turn to us when older constituents are running into food issues. Through the Northwest Bronx Food Justice Project, RSS partnered with the NYC Dept. of Sanitation to gather and disseminate over 1000 boxes of food to two of our coalition partners running food pantries (KHCC and St. Stephens), helping to feed over 300 families. The Food Justice Team also applied to Catholic Charities and St Stephen’s gratefully received food supplies for 250 families. This partnership promises to be an ongoing resource for fresh food for over 250 families.
- Our Adult Day Program for those with Dementia continues offering one-to-one social calls and online programs to fight isolation and boredom during the pandemic. This truly innovative program also acts as key support for caregivers, many of whom are balancing working from home and caring for a loved one at the same time.
- We personally check in with our members and other older adults in need. RSS has made over 5,000 health/wellness and check-in calls not only with our members as well as other adults and the families in the community get the medical care or testing they need
- Our programs transitioned online to help reduce social isolation - in less than a month we converted many of our key programs to online programs including art, exercise, meditation. We have also provided a wide variety of videos done by so of our most beloved instructors.
- Communicating vital information to the community. RSS is seen as an important link to the outside world for older adults and their families. We cover and send out information on everything from how food can be purchased, changes in Medicare eligibility, to ways to entertain yourself at home.
We are so grateful to hear these words
"I really like what RSS is doing during this pandemic. In addition, info re: grocery stores and restaurant deliveries are great. You all need to be applauded as "front line" workers!! - Karen
"RSS is doing a “mitvah” for all you have done in terms of making sure members are safe and have food. RSS staff are “truly professionals” and are so available each and every day." - Arthur
“Thank you for all your kindness and always thinking of me. I am grateful to have you watching over me.” - Susan
I would like to express that this is absolutely wonderful way to review art history, which would otherwise be impossible. So good has come out of this Pandemic lockdown. I appreciate the experience so much. Thank you for helping to arrange this opportunity for us. - Dorothy
“The senior center gave my life some kind of focus. I am grateful for everything the center provides for me.” - Priscilla
I cannot thank you enough for getting me the meals. They have been a lifesaver. I find them nutritious and very good.There are not any large supermarkets nearby and the prices of the local food is very pricey. Thank you! - Yvonne
"Even though I have been in NJ with family, I feel so connected seeing friends on the zoom classes. I participate in the exercises every day which keeps me active. They are fantastic and I am grateful for RSS. I feel RSS should publish a “magazine” for what the center has done. Never did I feel so good in a pandemic as when I took the Bliss fit class." - Pat
“Thanks for all that you do for the seniors in this area! It's so important not to feel isolated while isolating!!” - Betty
“You are doing an incredible job. It's a joy to be a member.”- Sandi
"I am so grateful to RSS and appreciate how supportive you have been. RSS gives a “spiritual loving” to me. I am grateful for the time spent at the caregiver support group in the past and now finds the Bereavement group a “Blessing”. The Savvy Solo Group is very helpful in navigating life living alone. I thank the Social Workers who have helped me “keep well”.
“We are blessed to have you because we know how much you care about us.” - Jill
“Thank very very much!!!!!!!!!! for all this info. you are wonderful;muchas gracias por todas esa info. y magnifico videos.” - Davia
“Many thanks for the excellent job you do during this pandemic.” - Rose
"I really appreciate the phone calls from RSS. I feel like I am not forgotten. Your e-mails have been terrific. Your resource data & links are so numerous; there has to be information for everyone. - Maureen
"Words seem inadequate to express how important it is to connect & have some normalcy at this strange time. Thanks for all you do at RSS!!"