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WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU 

Website Updated:  10/27/20 @ 3:19 pm

 

During the current COVID-19 crisis, we want to ensure that seniors throughout the county are safe and healthy.  We strive to provide you with the most up-to-date information in our website.

For easy access, we have sub-divided our website into four parts—UPCOMING EVENTS; COVID-19; SENIOR RESOURCES and POST-FIRE RESOURCES.

We continue to assist our clients via telephone and email on:

  •  HICAP/Medicare,
  • Transportation assistance,
  • Benefits Checkup
  • Ombudsman
  • Senior Peer Counseling, and Tax Assistance. 

Call us at (831) 655-1334 or (831) 758-4011

 

UPCOMING 

  • COVID-19 Testing Sites:  Click here for complete listing in Monterey County.

 

 (THANK YOU) TRASHION SHOW (Friday, OCT 23)

TRASHION PAGE: Click here

Thank you everyone for helping us celebrate our 50th anniversary via the fabulous Trashion Show fundraising event via Zoom.  It was a fun event featuring 20 plus designer face masks made by local artists and designers.  The face masks were raffled off during the show to 20 lucky winners!

We thank everyone for your support again–Artists, designers, sponsors, volunteers, staff and attendees.

See you next year! 

FIRE SAFETY (PG&E Public Safety Prep Workshop)–Oct 29

Do you know what are the major causes of fires in a home?  Avoid a fire disaster.  Learn how to plan and prevent a fire related emergency in your home.  Learn the READY, SET, GO program developed by CAL FIRE and much more.

  • Date/Time:  Thurs, Oct 29 (10:00am – 11:30am)
  • ZOOM Login Info,  click here or see below:
  • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82646445850?pwd=UWlSMlM4R1crY1NMQWhadmVCWUxJUT09
    • Meeting ID: 826 4644 5850
    • Passcode:  993906   Via (call in): +1 669 900 9128

To register by phone, call 831-655-1334.  For workshop flyer, click here  or contact Meggie Pina, Ombudsman Program Manager.

SENIOR LUNCHEON: Nov 10, Dec 1

 The monthly senior luncheon is BACK (via drive thru)!  It will be held on the first Tuesday of each month.  Fresh produce compliments of the Monterey County Food Bank (when available).

  • DATES (Tuesdays):  Oct 6, Nov 10, Dec 1
  • TIME:  10:30am – 12 Noon
  • PLACE:  St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church – 72 East San Joaquin St., SALINAS

MENU: See below orcick here.

  • Nov:  Turkey sandwich served with orzo pasta & veggie salad & chips
  • Dec:  Pastrami & Swiss sandwich served with potato salad & chips

Questions? Call (831) 655-1334 or (831) 758-4011.

SCAM ALERTS

PUBLIC UTILITY:  SCAM

The California Public Utilities Commission is asking that community members be made aware of a new scam going around. People are being cold-called by would-be scammers with spoofed telephone numbers (often with the same prefix as the intended victim’s own phone) and greeted by a recording saying, “This is an apology from your electric company.” The call then offers a rebate due to overcharging, and if the intended victim stays on, a live caller joins and attempts to solicit bank information.

There is no such active rebate program currently being offered by any major utility in California, and should one ever be offered, it would likely be in the form of bill credits. The FCC investigates such scams, and the CPUC advises that Californians immediately hang up on any such calls received.

COVID-19:  Scams

(New): Contact Tracing Scam.  Scammers impersonating as contact tracers and are calling potential victims, sending web links and text messages about fictitious COVID-19 cases and asking for social security numbers, financial and other sensitive info NOT required for contact tracing.  For more info, click here.  Recent scams:

  • Fake COVID-19 testing letter that appears to come from the state. The letter states that people must be tested for COVID-19 or lose access to their benefits. The letter asks people to visit a (fake) website to provide personal info.
  • Beware of door-to-door solicitors selling test kits, and robocalls about “special virus kits” that ask for your Medicare number to send a “free” test.
  • Watch for fraudulent emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control or other experts saying they have cures for covid.
  • For updates on the latest scams, click here. If you are concerned that you might be a victim of a scam, click here.

COVID-19 — RESOURCES 

COVID-19 TESTING SITES IN MONTEREY COUNTY:  

For a complete list of COVID-19 Testing Sites in Monterey County, CLICK HERE.

Tests are conducted by the following clinics or hospitals:

  • ARC Point Labs (Monterey only)
  • Clinica de Salud (Salinas & South Co)
  • Community Hospital of Monterey County (CHOMP) in Monterey
  • CVS (Alisal Branch only)
  • Doctors on Duty (all locations)
  • Mee Memorial Hospital (King City)
  • Natividad Hospital (Salinas)
  • OptumServe (Contracted by the county.  Tests at multiple sites)
  • Planned Parenthood (Monterey Peninsula College–drive thru)
  • Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital (SVMHS) in Salinas

NOTE:  Please bring:  1) photo ID and 2) health insurance card. 

For a complete list of ALL COVID-19 testing sites in Monterey County, CLICK HERE.

(NEW) CONFIDENTIAL HOTLINE: FOR FARMER WORKERS & FAMILY

The Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office has recently set up a 24 hour confidential hotline for farm workers and their families to report safety issues relating to COVID-19 and wildfire smoke challenge for the “essential” labor force.

The hotline is the first of its kind in California and is spearheaded by Supervisor Luis Alejo.

  • Hotline:  (831) 809-2394 (bilingual) 24hr, 7 days a week
  • Issues:  safety issues such as the availability of masks and other protective measures, the application of pesticide and more.

Medicare To Cover COVID-19 Tests

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that Medicare will cover coronavirus testing.  All COVID-19 tests ordered by your doctor or health care provider will be covered under Medicare Part B as a diagnostic laboratory test and there will be no out-of-pocket costs. Coverage can be back dated to February 4, 2020.

 

(New) COVID-19–Legal Hotline on Replacement Income and Job Protected Leave

The California Rural Legal Assistance is offering a new free and confidential hotline that is providing legal consultation on: 1) COVID-19 and a worker’s rights at work; 2) how to get paid and unpaid time off if affected by COVID-19; and 3) unemployment benefits and other wage replacement options.  Hotline phone number is 1-800-357-9513.

HEALTH:  COVID-19 AND SENIORS

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning for older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease) who are at a higher risk of getting very sick from Coronavirus COVID-19.  The virus is spreading easily and is sustainable in the community.  For additional information about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself, here are some useful information:

SENIOR — RESOURCES 

 

(new) SENIORS:  HOW TO CoPE with Mental Health

Fires!  COVID-19!  Worried and feeling depressed about the crisis around you and the world?  You are NOT ALONE!  The current local fires and social distancing measures can have a real impact on a person’s mental health, especially for older adults who may feel particularly isolated. Our peer counselors are here to help support you.  Call us at 831-758-4011 or 831-655-1334. Click here for how they can help you.

  • (NEW) Tips and strategies VIDEOS.  In partnership with Monterey County Department of Behavior Health, we will be launching a new video each week with tips and strategies in dealing with isolation, anxiety, depression and more.  There will be six videos total.  Click here for ENGLISH video.  SPANISH video.

TAX:  What Happens if You Miss the July 15 tax deadline?

The IRS is urging anyone who owes taxes to file a return as soon as possible and to pay as much as possible to reduce penalties and interest. Electronic filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available on IRS.gov through October 15, 2020 to prepare and file returns electronically.

Taxpayers should then review their payment options. The IRS has information for taxpayers who can’t pay taxes they owe.

For more info, click here for IRS Tax Tip 2020-88: What someone should do if they missed the July 15 deadline to file and pay.

TRANSPORTATION:  Fares Resumes

MST has resumed collection of fares.  Passengers are required to pay the appropriate fare for travel.

  • Senior Shuttles:  Call at least 24 hours in advance.  1-888-678-2871
  • MST is now requiring passengers age 12+ to wear face masks .

(new) DMV:  One-Year Extension to Seniors 70+

The DMV is providing an automatic one-year extension to Californians age 70 and older with a noncommercial driver license with an expiration date between March 1 and December 31, 2020. This action delays the requirement for this population to visit a DMV office during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The press release can be found here.

  • Age 70+ (noncommercial):  Expires Mar-Dec 2020.  (Now):  Extend for one year from original expiration date.
  • Age 69 & younger (noncommercial):  Expiration Mar-Jul 2020.  Extended to July 31, 2020.  Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail.
  • Commercial (all ages):  Expiration Mar-Sep 2020.  Extended to Sept 30, 2020.

FOOD RESOURCES FOR SENIORS

Home delivered meals for home bound seniors.  For many home bound seniors, access to a nutritious meal is extremely important.  Meals on Wheels (two locations: in Monterey and Salinas) are continuing their services for these seniors.  For more information, click on:

  • Meals on Wheels:  Monterey Tel:  831-375-4454
  • Meals on Wheels:  SALINAS ONLY:  Tel: (831) 758-6325.
  • MARINA:  CHISPA has teamed up with Meals on Wheels to provide food to seniors at Marina Manor and The Jensey Oaks.
  • MARINA: The Thomas Carmen Pantry in partnership with the Epiphany Lutheran & Episcopal Church is providing “drive thru” groceries pickup on Tuesdays (5pm–7pm)and Saturdays (9am-11am) at:  425 Carmel Ave., Marina (Epiphany church).
  • MONTEREY:  Shoreline Church, 2500 Garden Road, is partnering with Islands Restaurant to provide meals for seniors on Tuesday and Thursdays (12:30pm-2:30pm) and groceries, if needed.

SPIRALS BENEFITS SHOP–PLEASE SUPPORT US

Ready for a new outfit now that Shelter-in-Place has been lifted for retail shopping?  Our benefit store, Spirals, is ready for you!  In accordance with the new health regulations, face mask is required to enter our store.  Hand sanitizers are in front of the store.

  • (New) Temporary store hours:  Tues-Sat, 10:00am-4:00pm.
  • Store is closed on Mondays and Sundays.
  • Location:  570 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove.  Tel:  831-383-5030
  • Want to see the merchandise?  Click here.

(new) Farmer’s  Market Coupons: No Longer Issued Due to COVID-19

The Seniors Farmers Market nutrition program, designed to provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits and vegetables through farmers’ markets, will no longer be issuing coupons for food purchases.  Instead, the state of California has donated all coupons to local food banks to better serve the needs of seniors.  See below for the listing of food banks that is closest to you.

Food Bank (Schedule):

Food Bank of Monterey County will be distributing foods at the following cities.  Please click on link for specific locations and time.

  • Marina:  Mon: 9:30am-10:30am; Fri:  1:00pm-3:00pm
  • Monterey:  Fri:  9:30am-10:30am
  • Seaside Three locations on Tue:  9:30am; 11:00am; 4:00pm
  • Salinas Various locations Mon-Fri.
  • South County: Chualar, Greenfield, Gonzales, King City, Soledad, San Ardo
  • North County: Castroville, Pajaro, Castroville
  • Senior-Sites Marina and Carmel Valley
  • Prunedale Senior Center:  Food bag distribution will continue on Thursdays for Grey Bears, veteran seniors.

For more information, please call (831) 758-1523 or 211.

What Happens If You Have to Go to the Hospital?  

Many people are concerned about getting emergency care at local hospitals during COVID-19 crisis. Putting off critical care is dangerous and could expose a person to serious long-term health complications.

SVHS has produced podcasts/video on the steps that they have taken to ensure patients are safe and healthy during their visit.  Example: temperature screening for all incoming patients, treating COVID-19 patients in a separate area and more.  For more info, click here.

(UPDATED):  Senior Shopping Hours

To assist seniors to be able to purchase groceries and other essentials items, many stores have designated special senior hours, usually just before store opening. For a listing of stores that have senior hours:

PHARMACIES:  Home Delivery/Curb Side Pickup

In need of medicines and refills?  Many pharmacies are now offering home delivery and curbside pickup.  For a list of pharmacies that provide home delivery/curbside pickup, see below.  Please note that there might be delays with home delivery given the current demand.

PHARMACY:  Veterans 

TriCare:  Please call your pharmacy to request mail order or ask your doctor to submit prescription mail order pharmacy.

  • Veterans Administration: mail prescriptions is an option. Call the VA 650-493-5000 or clicking here.

Online grocery/curbside delivery: 

Want to save time and avoid long lines?  Try online grocery shopping.  Many local stores are offering grocery delivery to your door or have groceries ready for you for curb side pickup.  For instructions and listing of online stores:

  • MONTEREY: Stores offering home deliveries/curb side pickup
  • SALINAS:  Stores offering home deliveries/curb side pickup

RESOURCES & TIPS:  For Families With Loved Ones in Nursing Homes

Concerned about your loved ones living in long-term care facilities for seniors being mistreated, abused or neglected?  Alliance on Aging’s Ombudsmen can help. Ombudsmen are state certified individuals who resolve the problems of residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly.  Click here for how we can help.  Additional resources:

Monterey County Services for Seniors Will Continue

Monterey County Department of Social Services (MCDSS) will continue to operate it’s Adult Protective Services, In Home Supportive Services for seniors and more.

  • For more info about their essential services, click: ENGLISH or SPANISH.
  • For additional resources:  211 Search
  • COVID-19 Senior Resource Guide:  For a comprehensive guide lists health services, food assistance, senior shopping hours, housing assistance and more.  Click here to access the guide.

FIRE — RESOURCES 

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY:

For CAL FIRE’s fire incidents map updates, click here.

 

FIRES:  HOW YOU CAN HELP?

At present, the best way to assist those in need is to DONATE MONEY to the following organizations.  They will be able to get funds to where it will be needed the most.

DONATE MONEY:

  • Monterey County Fire Relief Fund (set-up by the Community Foundation of Monterey for #RiverFire #CarmelFire and #DolanFire.)  Funds collected will be distributed to organizations providing direct assistance to individuals and families affected by the fires.
  • montereyco.recovers.org provides info on places you can donate or volunteer.
  • SPCA: Donate Funds.
  • Big Sur (All Volunteer) Fire DepartmentClick here

(new) DONATE GIFT CARDS:

  • Monterey Firefighter Association is now accepting gift cards for wildfire victims.  Please drop off gift cards and monetary donations at any MONTEREY CITY FIRE STATION.

(NEW) FIRE:  SCAM ALERTS

Scammers are taking advantage of the fire situation and preying on people’s fears.  Warning:  Scammers are impersonating as someone from the sheriff office or PG&E and blaming shelter in place for office closure.  Scammers are directing people to donate gift cards or vouchers from stores like Walmart and Target OR asking for personal information for donation purposes.  If you receive such a call, hang up and contact your local law enforcement office.

POST FIRE — WHAT TO DO? 

WHAT TO DO AFTER THE FIRE?

The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services has provided the following guides to help fire evacuees and victims post fire.

Checking Your Home After the Fire–Steps To Stay Safe

  • Click here for guidance from the Red Cross.  Examples:  how to check for structural damage, checking utilities and major systems, electrical plumbing and heating systems and more.
  • Advise from CAL Fire, click here.

Food and Medicine Safety 

If your house has been damaged and you find nonperishable food items that survived the fire, DO NOT use them. Due to power outages, foods in your refrigerator or freezer must be discarded.

Water Safety and Utilities 

Upon returning home, some houses may be without water. For tips on water safety, check out the Monterey County’s Environmental Health Post-fire Safety Web PageMore resources for water safety and local utilities are provided below:

Getting Help from:  Federal and State 

  • For people with losses from fire, the first step is to contact their insurance companies.
  • FEDERAL ASSISTANCE:  For losses not covered by insurance, please register for disaster assistance:  1) via online at www.disasterassistance.gov; or 2) by using the FEMA App; or 3) by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY).
  • STATE ASSISTANCE:  Click here.