Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Senior services bunkers back down

Curbside pickups resume, senior companions needed to assist with respite care


October 15, 2020

Aiming to be proactive as cases of COVID-19 continue to pop up across the county, Crook County Senior Services has reverted to the policy of meal delivery and pickups that it followed in the early days of the pandemic.

“Cook County Senior Services will be temporarily suspending all the Hulett Senior Center’s and Sundance Senior Center’s congregate gatherings,” confirms Jenna Ellsbury, Director.

“This is a preventative measure due to the increase in cases of COVID-19.”

The decision has been made proactively, Ellsbury said, and is intended to make sure that senior services can keep its kitchens open and make sure those who need meals continue to receive them. The decision will be revisited on a daily basis.

“I want to stress everyone: whoever needs a meal will get a meal,” Ellsbury says. “We don’t want anyone to go hungry.”

Meals can be picked up from the curbside at the senior centers in Hulett and Sundance, or they can be delivered directly to your door. To order a meal, contact 283-1710.

If you would like to volunteer to cook meals or provide home deliveries, Ellsbury would love to hear from you.

Senior Companions

Senior Services is also in desperate need of more senior companions, she says, under a state program that can help seniors stay safe during the pandemic.

“We have partnered with Wyoming Senior Companion Program to help provide respite care,” she says. “Our need for respite has gone through the roof with COVID-19.”

Ellsbury explains that these companions are invaluable in situations such as a senior needing to go to a medical appointment or for a medical procedure. If their spouse has a disability or dementia, at this time their spouse is not allowed to accompany them.

“The spouse is unable to stay at home alone, so the person either cancels the appointment or seeks respite,” she says. “We don’t have enough staff to cover this need. The Senior Companion Program is perfect for this.”

To become a senior companion, you must be over the age of 55 and have limited income. You will be paid $3 per hour as well as mileage, supplemental insurance, holidays and paid time off.

“You do not need to claim the income because it comes from a grant, so it is perfect for people that need extra money but can’t make too much for their social security,” Ellsbury says.

To find out more, contact Ellsbury at 283-1710.


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