Please check this page frequently for the latest news about what COVID-19 means for older adults and updated information about PCOA services.
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 May 31, 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:
EnhanceFitness classes are suspended at:
El Pueblo Neighborhood Center
El Rio Community Center
Morris K. Udall Regional Center
PCOA Dusenberry Center
Randolph Recreation Center
William Clements Regional Center
El Dorado/TMC for Seniors
Yoga classes are suspended at:
PCOA Dusenberry Center
Sessions of the Aging Mastery Program have been temporarily suspended and will be rescheduled.
A Matter of Balance fall prevention classes have been suspended through the end of May.
Family Caregiver Services:
Family Caregiver Support Groups are being held as scheduled by telephone and video chat. Contact Jeri at 305-3405 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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 are available for sale in the community. Older adults are encouraged to wear a face covering in public settings.
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.