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.
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 both our locations 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 April 30, the following programming changes are in effect:
Those already receiving meals delivered to their homes through Pima Meals on Wheels will continue to receive them without interruption. We will be providing a few extra meals as of March 23 to ensure those who have no way to shop and prepare their own food and no one to help them have enough nutritious food to eat.
If you are in need of home-delivered meals, call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262 and we will be glad to talk to you about eligibility for the program. 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.
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 April.
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?
For the most current and accurate information about COVID-19 and its impact on our community, please visit:
Centers on Disease Control (CDC)
Arizona Department of Health Services
Pima County Health Department
City of Tucson COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 and Nursing Homes (What Residents and Family Need to Know)
Be aware of COVID-19 scams – Click here for more info