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Federal grant will help Nevada’s aging, disabled

The Aging and Disability Services Division announced it has received a federal grant of $6,929,262 in grants from the Administration for Community Living as part of the CARES Act.

The funds will help meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities as communities implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The grants will fund nutrition services, home-care services, respite care and other support to families and caregivers.

The need for services has increased as measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed locations where many people typically receive services, making it difficult for families to assist loved ones who live alone.

“We must recognize that all of Nevada’s older adults are currently homebound and at risk,” said Dr. Peter Reed of the Sanford Center for Aging at UNR. “All people ages 65 and older are highly encouraged not to leave their homes, due to an elevated risk of serious complications if they contract the coronavirus.

“This highly encouraged physical separation itself has the potential to cause a range of impacts on elder health and well-being, including among others, a lack of access to basic daily essentials such as food and medications, social isolation and a lack of access to needed health care and social services.”

To enact a rapid response, the Aging and Disability Services Division is leading a partnership with the Sanford Center, the UNR School of Community Health Sciences Dementia Engagement, Education and Research Program, Nevada Senior Services and Nevada 2-1-1 to create an online form that older adults and caregivers can use to request services for support while remaining at home. The Request for Help form can be filled out online at www.nevada211.org/seniors-covid19-resources/

The initial funding of $2,082,648, received in March, has been awarded to community partners who are anticipated to provide an additional 93,000 meals across Nevada. The division continues to process funding requests related to COVID-19 for services provided to populations covered under the Older Americans Act nutrition program including individuals age 60 and above, their spouses and people living with a disability who are living with an eligible individual.

“Keeping Nevada’s older adults safe from exposure to the coronavirus, while ensuring they are well supplied, have access to medical and social services and remain free from social isolation while being physically separated are now our collective top priorities as an aging network, ” said Dena Schmidt, Administrator for ADSD. “These new funds will go a long way to support our provider network and enable them to meet the continued demand.”

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