A Personal Message from
n4a CEO Sandy Markwood
to n4a Members on the COVID-19 Crisis

Dear n4a Members,

The COVID-19 crisis that is gripping the nation and the world is now estimated to have impacted hundreds of thousands of people, hitting hardest the population that we are privileged to serve—older adults. As the frontline of support for millions of older adults, you—our membership of Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI tribal aging programs—have worked tirelessly to adapt your programs and services to meet the quickly changing situation and address the emerging needs of older adults created by the COVID-19 crisis.

As senior centers and adult day care centers close, your staffs are creating new grab-and-go meal options for older adults who were dependent on these programs for nutritious meals. As the virus spreads, AAA and Title VI staff are scrambling to find the necessary personal protective equipment necessary now to provide in-home personal care services to existing vulnerable clients—and potentially expand to serving older adults relocating out of hospitals and other facilities. And, with evidence-based health programs, educational programming and other community-based social activities paused due to the need to adopt social distancing practices, your staff are looking for ways to provide access to virtual and telephonic programs that can provide critical check-ins for homebound older adults and help combat the negative health effects of social isolation resulting from this crisis.

For nearly 50 years, the Aging Network has been the trusted resource to ensure that older adults can live safe and healthy lives—where they want to—in their homes and in their communities. Now, amidst this crisis, the AAA and Title VI network stands ready to do what you do best—to serve and address the needs of vulnerable older adults.

Please know that as your national organization, we will continue to work for you and the older adults you serve during this crisis by:
  • Securing additional federal resources you need to expand services and supports to the vulnerable older adults in your community;
  • Advocating for your agencies to have access to the supplies and flexibility you need in this emergency, including the personal protective equipment you need to do the critical work of going into the homes of older adults to provide supportive services;
  • Providing you with the most updated resources for your agencies regarding COVID-19; and
  • Staying in close touch with our leadership, state associations, and you and your colleagues so that we can share information from the field on revamping services and supports.
You provide incredible services to older adults every day. During this national crisis, your commitment, caring and compassion in supporting the needs of older adults is nothing less than inspirational.

We will get through this crisis and we will do it together.

With appreciation for you and your staff,

Sandy Markwood
n4a CEO