While the coronavirus pandemic has challenged every community’s resilience, the City of La Verne is especially attuned to the unique difficulties faced by the La Verne senior community. With the start of the New Year, the City’s Community Services Department is planning virtual events for seniors, such as Bingo and Senior Coffee Hour & Conversation, to help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation which can lead to serious health problems according to the National Institute on Aging. More detailed information on these new virtual events, food programs, general heath updates and more can be found in the City’s monthly Senior Newsletter.
In the December edition of their Senior Newsletter, the City worked closely with the La Verne Chamber of Commerce to compile a list of businesses offering senior discounts, some of which are still available and valid. In addition to local business discounts, the City has also hosted a curbside Senior Lunch Program every Thursday since March 26, 2020 at the La Verne Community Center. The program has grown from distributing 250 meals per week to currently giving out 1,160 meals each week.
“With the pandemic raging on for nearly a year, we are hoping to establish even more programs and virtual events to further assist our seniors maintain connection with each other and our community,” said La Verne Recreation Supervisor Yvonne Duran. “Our La Verne seniors are a really important part of our community, so we are extremely focused on providing safe ways for our seniors to socialize and interact with each other.”
The City’s upcoming virtual social events build on its existing senior assistance programs established in the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, the City compiled senior assistance resources on its website, including public health and safety tips and information on the Countywide Critical Delivery Service that delivers groceries and other vital necessities to vulnerable populations. The City also expanded its You Are Not Alone (YANA) program to check in on seniors with its Senior Outreach Program, as well as launched an email for seniors in need of assistance (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“We have a significant senior population in La Verne – in fact about one in five people in the City belong to this age group and many of them are actively involved, invested and even volunteer in our community,” said La Verne City Manager Bob Russi. “It was only natural, then, that during these challenging times we figured out how to ramp up our services to seniors and find ways to connect them with the people and resources they need.”
Despite the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Los Angeles County has been actively vaccinating healthcare workers, staff and residents at nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. Los Angeles County residents 65 and older are now eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination at distribution centers throughout the County, including one at the nearby Pomona Fairplex. To schedule an appointment visit VaccinateLACounty.com or call (833) 540-0473 for assistance between 8:00 AM and 8:30 PM. Residents are highly encouraged to speak with their doctor about the vaccine and continue wearing face coverings, physical distancing and avoiding any gatherings.