Volunteers sought in Md. to help seniors during the coronavirus pandemic

Many people in the D.C.-area who didn’t need any help getting through life before the coronavirus pandemic are now finding themselves asking others for a little assistance.

That’s especially true for senior citizens, who in some cases face more risk going out compared to what they are used to.

Building off similar efforts in other states that have produced thousands of volunteers, the Maryland chapter of the Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, or VOAD, is working with the Maryland Department of Aging to connect volunteers with seniors who need help.

“We have two types of volunteers that we’re coordinating for them,” said Phillip Huber, the chairman of MVOAD.

“One group of volunteers … will actually go into the home to provide feeding, to provide bathing, to provide transfer assistance. Those kinds of both semi-medical and nonmedical support to seniors in their homes.” Huber said.

“Then another group of volunteers … are volunteers who will not be in any contact with the seniors or go into their homes, but will provide the delivery of groceries, the deliveries of prescription drugs or anything else that the senior may need delivered to their home that they cannot get out to do themselves.” Huber said.

Hundreds of volunteers are needed each day across the state and the group will help coordinate with the various faith-based groups looking for volunteers to find an opportunity to help people close to where you volunteers live, according to Huber.

“The senior population … during the pandemic is a group at risk,” said Huber.

“Them not having to come outside of their home to go get groceries and prescripts helps them to avoid that risk.”

Huber said some of these seniors might be people who relied on someone else who ended up getting sick and could no longer offer help.

“This is not just a nice service to provide,” said Huber. “In some cases it could be life-giving.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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