Area agencies on aging can be a valuable resource for seniors quest to find COVID-19 vaccine

As some older Ohioans struggle to line up the COVID vaccine the regions agencies on aging can provide valuable information to help work through the process.
Families of Northeast Ohio nursing home residents yearn for guidance on vaccines and visitation
Families of Northeast Ohio nursing home residents yearn for guidance on vaccines and visitation
Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 8:29 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There has been nothing easy about the COVID pandemic from the moment last March when we first started to experience shutdowns right up until now, almost a year later, when many senior citizens are struggling to find a dose of a much anticipated COVID vaccine.

But there is help for seniors, and it can be just a phone call away if you or a family member is struggling with the process of finding or registering for the vaccine.

The Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging and the Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging have proved to be a valuable tool for seniors during the pandemic, and now when the vaccine is so difficult to find,

Terri Foster is the Director of the Resource Center at Western Reserve, where the call volume has tripled.

“We certainly understand, and we share the frustration we want to have that magic wand, if you will, to get the vaccine, get scheduled get the transportation, but right now it’s so fragmented,” Foster said.

At the Akron Canton Agency on Aging, the call volume has also tripled, according to Communications Director Matt Reed.

“People are frustrated with the process,” Reed said, “They’re frustrated with the shortages of vaccines,” Reed said.

Both agencies are in a position to help seniors or their family members work through the process, find the providers that some may not be aware of, and even help in the registration process.

If you’re in Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, or Geauga County, you can call the Western Reserve Agency at 1-844-340-3003 for help.

If You are in Summit, Stark, Portage, or Wayne County, you can call the Akron Canton Agency at 1-877-770-5558.

And while the vaccine is first on most minds right now, there is little doubt that many people are still trying to deal with the social ramifications of the pandemic and that has hit the senior community particularly hard.

“Not being able to get out, not being able to see their families, it’s just adding to an already difficult situation for a lot of people,” Foster said.

And the struggles some older people are dealing with have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“If folks are struggling to be successful at home because of the pandemic or because of other challenges, calling us would be a really good place to start for some answers,” Reed said.

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