COVID-19: How Oak Park and River Forest Townships Senior Services
Have Reacted to Provide Essential Services
The Senior Services Departments of Oak Park and River Forest Townships adapted procedures and staffing to respond to the increased need for services during the COVID-19 health crisis. Recently, an article in the May 2020 issue of Perspectives magazine, a publication from the Township Officials of Illinois, included a feature on several townships, including ours. The text of the article is below, and please click here for the printed version.
In a time full of uncertainty, townships throughout the state have stepped up to take care of their communities. This article will feature submissions from just a few of those townships who have gone the extra mile to make sure that those who have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic are not going without. We thank every person who has been a helping hand during these times. Oak Park Township and River Forest Township Senior Services of Oak Park and River Forest Townships has been working diligently to modify the delivery of their programs and services while striving to meet the increased demand to feed older adults in the community while they are sheltering in place to stay safe and healthy.
Oak Park and River Forest are also striving to serve older adults through telephonic means for case management, benefits assistance, caregiver support, information and assistance, well-being checks, as the local Case Coordination Unit, Adult Protective Services unit, and Money Management Unit.
They have successfully partnered with the local YMCA and Housing Forward (local social service provider working to help individuals and families end homelessness) to feed individuals age 60+, in need of food, registered in their programs. Oak Park and River Forest bus drivers used our vehicles to assist Beyond Hunger (our local food pantry), provide delivery of pantry items to older adults age 60+ in need of additional food. Their meal delivery to residents who are homebound has increased more than 68% in less than a month. Oak Park and River Forest are immensely grateful for all of the support from staff, volunteers, and local community partners like:
- Cook County Sheriff ’s Department
- Blue Cab
- Village of Oak Park AgeOptions
On April 21, Oak Park and River Forest townships held a virtual sing along for our Memory Café with performer Andy Teitelman who is also a member of the AgeOptions Advisory Council. Oak Park and River Forest Townships has also worked with other local providers to develop an OPRF COVID-19 local resource guide: bit.ly/oprfguide. They have had an overwhelming response from local community members wanting to help. Volunteers are delivering meals, making masks, grocery shopping and delivering groceries and prescriptions among other things. Oak Park and River Forest townships have created, in partnership with the Park District of Oak Park, an on-line portal for volunteers to sign up to help us meet the essential needs of seniors. If interested in volunteering with Oak Park Township Senior Services, please go to the Oak Park COVID-19 Community Response Volunteer Interest survey at https://bit.ly/399p9zW. The Park District of Oak Park is also calling for volunteers to make masks which will then be laundered and distributed to members of the community:
The Village of River Forest and the River Forest Township along with Senior Services have coordinated efforts for a COVID-19 Senior Response Team.
The townships are so happy to see their Oak Park and River Forest communities coming together in this time of need.