Please check this page frequently for the latest news about what COVID-19 means for older adults and updated information about PCOA services.
Important COVID-19 Vaccine Information
People 75 and older are now eligible for vaccinations. Register at www.pima.gov/covid19vaccineregistration, or call 520-594-5684 for registration assistance (beginning at 1 p.m. Jan 14.)
Vaccinations are slated to begin Friday, Jan. 15 at Tucson Medical Center for people over 75 years of age. TMC has two options available for older adults: a drive-thru facility and in-hospital vaccination clinic. Combined, TMC will be able to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per weekday.
The drive-thru vaccination site, in Lot 29 in the northwest corner of the complex, is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. The hospital site, in the Marshall Conference Center on the east side, is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Only people with appointments can get vaccinated. Walk-ins are not accepted.
Find further information about eligibility, updated vaccination numbers, FAQs and more at pima.gov/covid19vaccine.
PCOA OPERATING UPDATE
On Monday December 14, 2020, PCOA will be shutting our doors to walk-in clients at the Marian Lupu Building on Broadway and Camino Seco and our Katie Dusenberry Healthy Aging Center on Country Club will remain closed to the public. Based on the most recent information of community spread and hospitalization data from the Arizona Department of Health Services and Pima County Health Department, we have made the determination that this is a necessary step in order to protect the health and safety of older adults and that of our staff.
Though we are temporarily closing our doors, we are not closed for business and will continue to provide the same high quality supports and services that help older adults live with dignity and respect. For those who are receiving services though PCOA, there will be no interruption in service. For those wishing to receive service or information from PCOA, our Helpline will continue to function between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday. We are accessible by calling (520) 790-7262 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are extraordinary times and drastic measures are needed to curb the spread of this deadly virus. This in-person closure of our facilities will be temporary and a re-opening of facilities to walk-in clients will be based on the latest data and analysis from the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Pima County Health Department.
Pima County Health Department Alert – December 9, 2020.
The Pima County Health Department has distributed a mass alert message to the public using the My Alerts system notifying that COVID-19 transmission rates are currently extremely high. Because of this, area hospitals are at or near maximum capacity.
For the health and safety of the public, the Pima County Health Department has advised residents to remain home when possible and to always wear masks and practice distancing when in public.
More about Pima County’s mask resolution is at www.pima.gov/maskupPC
Pima Council on Aging is concerned about what a significant outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could mean for vulnerable older adults in Pima County. As is the case with many illnesses, older adults face higher risks of contracting COVID-19 and/or experiencing complications, particularly if they also have chronic medical conditions.
We are closely monitoring the recommendations of the CDC and local health officials, and following guidance provided by our federal and state partner organizations. These guidelines are changing quickly.
Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks)
Economic Impact Payments (also known as the stimulus checks) are currently being processed by the Treasury Department in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). For more information about how to qualify visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
Some people may need to file a simple tax return to receive their economic impact payment.
What can I do to protect myself and others against COVID-19?
We can all take steps to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of the most vulnerable among us by following Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines and recommendations:
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if handwashing is not available
- Keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cover coughs or sneezes with your sleeve or tissue
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- Avoid sick people
- Stay home if you’re sick
If you have a serious underlying medical condition:
- Stay home if possible.
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
- Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
- For more information on steps you can take to protect yourself, see CDC’s How to Protect Yourself
What is PCOA doing to keep older adults safe?
PCOA is closely monitoring the news and available resources from the Centers on Disease Control (CDC), are in regular contact with local health officials, and have put in place prevention and response plans.
With our community partners, we have worked to ensure uninterrupted service to our most vulnerable clients, including those who rely on us for home-delivered meals, in-home care and congregate meals.
In the interest of public health, we have moved about 70% of our staff to working from home. We have worked diligently to continue providing services to our community remotely with as little disruption as possible. Most of our services are still available, though many are now being delivered primarily by phone, email, or live or recorded video.
See program changes below for more detail.
How can I help?
Start by practicing good hygiene and social distancing – and you can also volunteer. Neighbors Care Alliance affiliates across our community are stepping up to meet the increased need for assistance with shopping, errand-running and friendly check-ins by telephone. Learn more here.
PCOA is already seeing increased need from older adults in our community and anticipates that need to become much greater in the coming weeks. Your donation to help us care for our older friends and neighbors is greatly appreciated.
How Can I Get Help from PCOA?
We are here to help you. Because we are practicing social distancing and most of our staff are working from home, in-person individual services are limited. We still have staff on-site at our 8467 E. Broadway location to help those who have an urgent need or do not have access to a phone or computer.
If you can, please call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262 rather than coming to our offices. There’s a very good chance we can assist you by phone. We encourage older adults and those with underlying health conditions or comprised immunity to stay home as much as possible.
If you reach a recording asking you to leave a message, please do so and you will receive a call back as soon as possible, usually within one or two business days. Many of the services PCOA offers are available by phone and email, and don’t require you to come to our offices at all.
PCOA is suspending all of our group programming through the end of April. Check this page frequently for updates.
PCOA Program Changes
Effective Monday, March 16 through September 30, the following programming changes are in effect:
Individuals currently receiving meals delivered to their homes through Pima Meals on Wheels will continue to receive meals without interruption. If you are in need of home- delivered meals, call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262 and we will be glad to speak with you about eligibility for the program.
Senior Lunch Programs:
All community and senior centers in the City of Tucson and Pima County are currently closed.
Meals are still being provided to participants who are already registered in the Senior Lunch Programs at the following Centers. Take-home meals available for pick up at the Centers. Special arrangements have been made for some Please call the Center directly for information about meal pick-ups. We are temporarily unable to register new people for meals programs while we focus on ensuring the needs of those already enrolled are met, but please check back with the Center nearest you after April 1 to inquire about availability.
Ajo Community Center – (520) 387-6641
Archer Center – (520) 791-4353
Armory Park Center – (520) 791-4865
Casa Community Center/Green Valley – 520-393-6814
Clements Center – (520) 791-4730
Donna R. Liggins Center – (520) 791-3247
Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center – (520) 724-5360
El Dorado/TMC for Seniors – (520) 546-2257
El Pueblo Center – (520) 791-5155
El Rio Center – (520) 791-4683
Freedom Park Center – (520) 791-4969
Quincie Douglas Center – (520) 791-2507
Services for people who need assistance with bathing, dressing and light housekeeping to remain safely in their homes are continuing as usual and in accordance with participants’ wishes about having someone come into their homes. Our ability to enroll new participants in these programs is currently limited, but if you or someone you know is in need please call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262 to discuss eligibility and other options.
Health Promotion Programs:
Yoga classes are suspended at:
PCOA Dusenberry Center
EnhanceFitness® will begin remote classes in January 2021. To learn more, and to register, click here.
The Aging Mastery Program (AMP) will be offering the spring 10-week session beginning Tues., February 9, 2021 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. The classes will be offered virtually via Zoom and by phone. All of the sessions will be on Tuesdays and the class dates are Feb. 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6 and 13. Early Bird Registration fee is $85 per person if registered and paid by Friday, Jan. 22. After Jan. 22, fee is $95 per person. Book and resource materials are provided. REGISTRATION is open by calling PCOA at 305-3409.
There will be a Healthy Living with Diabetes Workshop (once/week for 6 weeks) on Thursdays, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25 and March 4, 2021 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The workshop sessions will be offered remotely via Zoom. The contribution fee is $25 per person. A book and resource materials are provided. For more information and to register, please call 305-3410.
There will be a Healthy Living with Chronic Pain Workshop (once/week for 6 weeks) on Mondays, Feb. 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2021 from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. The workshop sessions will be offered remotely via Zoom. The contribution fee is $35 per person. A book and resource materials are provided. For more information and to register, please call 305-3410.
A Matter of Balance® fall prevention in-person classes have been suspended. However, new classes will be offered remotely in Spring 2021. A book and resource materials are provided. For more information and to register, please call 305-3410.
Family Caregiver Services:
Family Caregiver Support Groups are being held as scheduled by telephone and video chat. Contact Jeri at 305-3405 or email@example.com to receive instructions for joining.
Scheduled Family Caregiver Trainings are suspended and will be rescheduled.
The following Family Caregiver Special Events have been postponed and will be rescheduled:
Movies for Caregivers Series – Alive Inside
Understanding Our Changing Needs: End of Life Planning
Caregiving Respite: Friends and Neighbors Program
Our Medicare Counselors are available to assist you by phone. Please call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262 to make an appointment.
Our in-person Understanding Medicare workshops have been temporarily paused, but we invite you to view our new Understanding Medicare Presentation Online for a wealth of information about Medicare. Feel free to give us a call with follow-up questions and to receive one-on-one counseling about your plan.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program:
Residents of long-term care facilities in Pima County have a right to access the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. Due to health concerns, we are unable to visit in the facilities at this time but are still able to assist by phone. Call (520) 546-2007 or email LTCO@pcoa.org.
Where can I get reliable information about COVID-19?
NEW – View the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Presentation for COVID-19 Related Medicare Fraud Online:
For the most current and accurate information about COVID-19 and its impact on our community, please visit:
COVID-19 ResourcesSee all COVID-19 Resources
Cloth masks either for sale or for public distribution in our community. Face coverings are required to be worn in public settings in Pima County to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Many grocery stores are offering delivery or curbside pick up. To ensure that you have the food and supplies that you need, check the availability for pick up and delivery prior to your order. Due to increased demand from COVID-19, many stores ask that you order days in advance.
Due to COVID-19, there are many programs that can help you to get forbearance on your rent or mortgage payment should you need to isolate or quarantine. Evictions in the State of Arizona have been halted due to the crisis if you cannot pay rent due to a COVID-19 related issue like loss of income or needing to quarantine/isolate.
Social isolation and loneliness only exacerbate pre-existing mental and physical health issues. There are various hotlines to call for information and support for a variety of issues you may be experiencing.
If you were employed and lost a job from COVID-19, here are an assortment of resources to file for unemployment and to look for new jobs. Many unemployment benefits have been expanded to deal with this growing health crisis. Wait times may be long, continue to try back on resources you weren't able to get a hold of at first.
Many non-profit and community organizations are expanding access food through delivered meals, sack lunches, shelf-stable food, and other means. Some of these programs may require means testing or prioritization of those most in need.
Though it is imperative that we continue to implement social distancing practices to prevent illness, socialization is still critical for our mental and physical health. Here are some options to stay engaged with your community while practicing social distancing.
If you experience symptoms of shortness of breath, fever, or dry cough, call your health care provider immediately. If you need testing or do not have a health care provider, here are some places to visit. If you experience severe shortness of breath, flushed lips, dizziness, severe pressure or tightness of the chest, or other extreme symptoms, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room.