Mental Health Resources in Response to the Pandemic

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Older adults and people with disabilities and underlying medical conditions can experience more stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak than other people. Find ways to reduce your stress and anxiety:

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
• Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
• Connect with family and friends by phone, text, or email.
• If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Here are a few more helpful phone numbers:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

For more information, visit this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?fbclid=IwAR3SWsrU16WUj2q2svJ3Yhnz33poz3lsQh2zCu4ys96dq4Um7jkDA_GYY_I

Mental Health Resource for Seniors

Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides counseling services on a variety of topics for elderly individuals in several states including Texas. During the COVID -19 pandemic, services are provided in a tele-health setting, using a computer or portable device. No doctor order is required, and the counseling services are covered by Medicare, private pay, and some insurance companies.

For more information, call 855-241-7160, or visit https://bluemoonseniorcounseling.com/specialties/telehealth

Sources for Personal Emergency Response Devices

During the current pandemic, when many people who are elderly or have disabilities are needing to isolate at home, a personal emergency response system would bring help in the event of a fall or medical event such as a heart attack or stroke. Here is a list of companies that sell these devices. Please note that your insurance may not cover the cost of these devices, and make sure to read all terms and conditions carefully.

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)

Alert Sentry

877-253-7899

http://alertsentry.com/

Great Call

800-918-8543

www.greatcall.com/

Guardian Medical Monitoring

800-782-9688

Medical Monitoring

Life Alert:

800-982-0332

www.lifealert.net/home/home.html

Life Fone

800-331-9198

www.lifefone.com

Life Station

866-584-4858

www.lifestation.com/

Medical Alert

800-800-2537

http://medicalert.com

Philips Lifeline Systems Inc:

855-681-5351

www.lifeline.philips.com/

Rescue Alert

800-688-9576

www.rescuealert.com/

Senior Safety Medical Alert Systems

888-473-2800

www.seniorsafety.com/american-medical-alarms/

Good Apple Free Food Delivery in Austin

Good Apple now has a Stay at Home, Stay Healthy program. While supplies and funding last, a free bag of shelf stable items and produce will be delivered to Austin residents who are elderly and/or disabled. This is a one time offer and an application is required. For more information, call 737-228-3558, send an e-mail to contact@goodapplefoods.com, or visit https://goodapplefoods.com/covid-19

Hadley Presents: From Diagnosis to Support and Hadley Podcast

The Hadley Institute for the Blind offers free classes and discussions by phone, by correspondence, and online for persons who are blind or visually impaired. Follow this link to listen to the audio or read the transcript of an interview with Dan Roberts, author of The First Year-Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed and founder of MDSupport website and support group: https://hadley.edu/HadleyPresents/episode.asp?episode=From_Diagnosis_to_Support&utm_source=Hadley+Presents&utm_campaign=075819e2f3-hadleypresents-ep14-hp_3-6-2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6312574b23-075819e2f3-52380393&mc_cid=075819e2f3&mc_eid=3549f96d2c

Hadley has also released a podcast that discusses resources for people with visual impairments during the current pandemic.

You can listen to the podcast here: https://hadley.edu/hadleypresents/episode.asp?episode=COVID_19_and_vision_loss&utm_source=Hadley+Presents&utm_campaign=e537d5546e-hadleypresents-ep16-hp_3-27-2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6312574b23-e537d5546e-52380393&mc_cid=e537d5546e&mc_eid=3549f96d2c



Ideas and Resources for Seniors and People with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Here are a few resources and ideas for seniors and people with disabilities to find assistance during the pandemic:

  1. If you have a smartphone, download the Nextdoor app. Nextdoor connects you to neighbors and people in your community. Many people are using Nextdoor to find individuals who will assist seniors and people with disabilities by picking up groceries, prescriptions, and other essentials.
  2. Call your local pharmacy and ask if they will deliver your prescriptions.
  3. HEB is partnering with the Favor app to provide free delivery of groceries to people age 60+. Seniors can order through the Favor app, website, or call the Senior Support phone line at 1-833-397-0080 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. seven days a week. For more information on where this is available and what you can order, follow this link: https://blog.favordelivery.com/h-e-b-and-favor-team-up-to-support-seniors-61f4ab4ad3ac
  4. Some grocery stores are offering a “senior” hour that allows senior citizens to shop before the store opens to everyone. Call your local store and ask if this service is available.
  5. If you are a para-transit client, call and ask if the service is partnering with HEB or local grocery stores to provide groceries to transit riders. HEB is currently partnering with Metro Access in Austin to provide free weekly food kits to their clients. These kits will include shelf stable items such as rice, peanut butter, and canned goods. Metro Access clients can call 512-369-6050 to order a food kit, on a first come, first served basis.

Introducing Duplication on Demand–A New Service for TBP Patrons

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The Talking Book Program is now serving patrons with a great new service called Duplication on Demand (DoD). It will allow you to get almost any book that is available on BARD right away. When you order books, or when automatic selection orders books for you, they are recorded on a cartridge and sent to you within a day or two (provided you don’t already have a full quota.) Of course, if you have other requests on your list, you’ll need to tell us if you want new requests first. Otherwise, the computer may send older requests before the new ones. There’s no waiting for other patrons to return a copy; all downloadable books are always available. DoD puts up to 8 books on one cartridge, but you don’t need to be able to use Bookshelf because new programming has simplified the way you move from book to book. You can also get a whole series put on one cartridge– in series order—just let us know if there’s one you would like.

We are starting the process of moving all of our established audio readers to DoD. This will take quite a while, as each reader must be set up individually. DoD settings will be based on your current account profile, but these settings can be changed at your request. We are working through our patron list diligently, but it may be some time before we get to you. If you would like to switch to DoD right away, please contact us, and we’ll set you up.

Here’s what to expect when you start getting DoD cartridges:

• Each reader can have up to three cartridges checked out at once*

• Each cartridge may have as many as 8 books on it* (or a whole series, at your request.)

• Each cartridge will be labeled “TX Talking Book Library: Audio Books.”

• The mailing container will have a folded book card listing the titles that are on the cartridge.

• To return cartridges, simply remove the book card. The container has TBP’s return address permanently on it.

• Once a cartridge gets back to us, we’ll send you another one. It’s very important to send cartridges back right away to prevent gaps in service.

• The loan period for cartridges is 60 days, with an option to renew for another 60 days, so you’ll have plenty of time to read all of the books on the cartridge.

• If you want to reread a book or cartridge, we can send it again.

Questions? Please contact us! We’ll be happy to answer them. You can email us at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov, or call us at 1-800-252-9605.

*Note to Institutions: Since institutions (schools, nursing homes, etc.) serve multiple readers, you will receive more cartridges, each containing one book. For more information, please contact us.

*Note to Demo Sites: Demo sites will receive 1 cartridge that contains a Spanish book and an English book.

Lyft Offers Free and Discounted Rides on Election Day

The ride source service Lyft is partnering with national voting and non-profit organizations to provide low cost or free rides to individuals on election day. Many voters admit that transportation is their biggest obstacle to voting in local and national elections.

Lyft is available in all fifty states, but may not be available in local areas. Click here for a list of cities that offer Lyft service: https://www.lyft.com/rider/cities
The Lyft app is available on iOS and Android platforms.

The last day to register in vote in Texas for the November election is October 9th. You can pick up a voter registration application at various places like high schools and public libraries. You can also print a voter registration application here: https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp
You must register at least 30 days before the election in order to be eligible to vote.

In many cities the Democratic Party will also provide free rides to polling places. Persons with disabilities may also vote by mail.

For more information on Lyft’s #TheRidetoVote initiative, visit https://blog.lyft.com/posts/2018/8/22/get-out-the-vote
More details will be available closer to Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 6th.

Talking Book Program to be Closed from 5 pm Friday, June 22 through 8 am Monday, July 2nd:: El Programa de Libros que Hablan estará cerrado de las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio hasta las 8 am el Lunes 2 de Julio.

Starting at 5 pm on Friday, June 22nd, we will be closed to the public while we upgrade our computer system. We will reopen on Monday, July 2nd at 8 am.  While we are closed, you may leave simple requests such as book orders or contact information changes on our voicemail, and they will be processed during our closure. We regret that we will not be able to call you back; if you need to speak to a staff member, please call back when normal hours resume on July 2nd.

Please do not visit the library between June 22nd and July 1st, as we cannot accommodate walk-in patrons during the closure.

You may also contact us via e-mail at tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.  While we are closed, email requests will be processed, but no replies will be sent.

Thank you for your patience while we make this important transition.

Comenzando a las 5:00 pm el Viernes 22 de Junio, estaremos cerrados al público mientras actualizamos nuestro sistema informático. Abriremos de nuevo el Lunes 22 de Julio a las 8:00 am. Durante nuestra clausura, usted puede dejar mensajes sencillos en nuestro correo de voz, como ordenes de libros o cambios en su información de contacto (teléfono, dirección, etc.) Esas solicitudes serán procesadas durante la clausura. Sentimos no poder regresar las llamadas durante ese tiempo; si necesita hablar con un miembro del personal, por favor llámenos cuando reanudemos nuestras horas hábiles el 2 de Julio.

No podremos admitir visitas en persona del 22 de Junio al 1ero de Julio, ya que no estaremos capacitados para ayudar usuarios durante nuestra clausura. Usted puede mandarnos mensajes por correo electrónico a tbp.services@tsl.texas.gov.  Durante nuestra clausura sí procesaremos solicitudes recibidas por correo electrónico, pero no mandaremos respuestas.

Gracias por su paciencia durante esta importante transición.

Seniors Without Walls

Seniors Without Walls is a free telephone and web-based service that offers a wealth of programs for persons aged 60 and older. More than 70 programs are available, in categories such as fun and games, conversation, languages, philosophy and religion, meditation, arts, reading, writing, special interest, supportive groups, health and wellness, etc. A few groups are available in Spanish. Sessions run from thirty minutes to an hour. Seniors Without Walls is a California-based program that now has more than 1000 participants in 35 states. The service is a great resource for seniors wanting phone and online interaction, continuing education, and entertainment.

For more information, please call 877-797-7299 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time) or visit www.seniorswithoutwalls.org