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COA recommends seniors self-isolate as office closes

Grocery delivery, life-sustaining transportation for seniors still offered

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LAKE COUNTY — As additional social-distancing measures are put in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Lake County Council on Aging encourages senior citizens to self-isolate. According to LCCOA Executive Director Dara Rodda, the organization has limited its services to the senior food commodities program in order to comply with social-distancing efforts across the nation.

Housekeeping, respite care and public transportation services have been put on hold until April 1. Grocery delivery and life-sustaining transportation to dialysis or cancer treatments are still available by calling 406-546-7217. Information and assistance navigating Medicare, Medicaid, LIEAP (low income energy assistance program), and other public programs is still available via phone. For immediate assistance, call the above number. If the matter can wait until after April 1, Rodda asks that people leave a message at the office: 676-2367.

The senior commodities program, which provides 225 seniors throughout Lake County with some 15,000 pounds of food every two months, just had its most recent delivery last week - March 18 and 19. The timing was fortuitous.

“I called all of our regulars to see how they were doing – sounds like most of our seniors are well-stocked on their supplies, food,” Rodda said. “Everyone’s good to hunker down for a couple of weeks but anything past that, we’re going to have to reevaluate.”

She added that she’s had an outpouring of volunteers, some 50 people, call her with offers to help area seniors.

The greatest need she’s had so far has been for home-delivered meals as area senior centers have quit offering dine-in meals to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Senior center grab-and-go, meal delivery services are as follows:

Polson:  Home delivery of meals is still available at $5 per meal or less depending on income considerations. For those not currently receiving home delivery, payment on delivery will be required during this time period. (Exact cash or check is required unless prior arrangements made with center.) Call 406-883-4735 at least one day before the requested delivery day.

Ronan:  The Mission Valley Senior Center in Ronan will still offer lunch meals through the meals on wheels program Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Call 406-676-2371 to find out more about the program.

Charlo:  For those who’ve been receiving them, meals are available on Tuesday and Thursday from the Charlo Senior Citizens Center. Families will pick up and bring meals to their senior loved ones.

St. Ignatius:  The St. Ignatius Senior Center is continuing their meals on wheels program. To place an order for a to-go meal, please call 406-745-4462 by 10:30 a.m. All pick-up meals must be picked up by 1 p.m.

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