How LifePath Can Help
We Are Here For You
LifePath is open for business, going strong, and is here more than ever to support elders, people with disabilities, and caregivers. We are responding to the changing needs of those we serve, offering services to new people, staying current on any COVID-19 related developments, communicating up to date and accurate information, and offering resources to callers.
We moved most of our administrative functions off site and staff are fully equipped to work from home. Although our physical office is closed to the public, staff are continuing to communicate with and assess consumers via telephone and the use of video connections, while keeping everybody safe. Home health aides and personal care attendants continue to visit homes and offer care to those who need it.
LifePath offers a variety of supports, such as personal care, meals, medication pick up and delivery, grocery shopping, wellness calls, and discharges from hospitals and nursing facilities. We can often provide help even if the needs are only related to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. For those currently residing in or considering nursing facility care, home care services are a viable alternative for comparable care. We also have the capacity to help people who want to avoid short-term rehab stays, and people who currently live in nursing homes but wish to move home for the time being.
Meals on Wheels
We continue to deliver Meals on Wheels and have offered extra meals to all Meals on Wheels participants to stockpile in case of a service interruption. We are following the strict sanitation guidelines put forth by the CDC to minimize risk. We have experienced a surge in new Meals on Wheels consumers. To keep Meals on Wheels consumers and volunteers safe we have implemented the “Smile and Wave” method, wherein drivers arrive at a recipient’s house, use hand sanitizer or put on a new pair of gloves, place the meal on an outside table or pack the meal in a plastic bag and hang it on the doorknob, knock or ring the doorbell, and immediately step back 10 to 15 feet. When the Meals on Wheels recipient answers the door, the driver says “hello” and indicates where the meal is, making sure the recipient is able to retrieve the meal, before leaving to deliver the next meal. If no one answers, they call the recipient to make sure they are home. If no one answers, the driver reports to the office, who contacts emergency contacts, doctor’s offices, and then emergency services. In this way we are also making sure the Meals on Wheels recipient is safe.
Congregate Meal Sites
Congregate meal sites are closed until further notice, however "grab and go meals" are available at Bernardston Senior Center (M-F), Orange Senior Center (M-F), Phillipston COA (every Tuesday), Shelburne Senior Center (every Wednesday), and South County Senior Center (M-F).
Call the centers for more information.
Grocery Shopping and Delivery
LifePath is offering volunteer grocery shopping and delivery in Franklin County and the North Quabbin areas for people over age 60 or people with physical illnesses or disabilities or people who are immunocompromised. If this is you, and you are concerned about visiting the grocery store and don't have someone who can help, call 413-773-5555.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs applied for and was accepted into the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs will coordinate the procurement, processing, and delivery of a food box designed to help elders access needed protein. LifePath has signed on to be a regional distributor for area elders, and will work with Councils on Aging to distribute the food. The program will bring about $93,800 in food to Franklin County and North Quabbin elders.
Participating elders will receive one 10-pound box of pre-cooked meats or cheeses (chicken sausage, pork sausage, chicken patties, and cheeses) per delivery, at a value of about $50 per box. LifePath has signed on to distribute 469 boxes four times a year (May/June; July/August; September/October; November/December). People 60 and over are eligible and there is no cost to our community. The program will bring about $93,800 in food to Franklin County and North Quabbin elders.
The delivery of the boxes will be "Truck to Trunk," with food available for pickup or delivery. Participating sites are the Northfield Senior Center, Bernardston Senior Center, Greenfield Senior Center at John Zon Community Center, Athol Senior Center, Montague & Gill Senior Center, Erving Senior Center, Orange Senior Center, Shelburne Senior Center, Petersham COA, and the Leyden COA.
Eligible people 60 and over interested in getting a CFAP food box should contact their local COA for more information.
Other LifePath Programs
Other programs, like SHINE counseling and home visiting programs, have moved to phone appointments, when possible, for the time being. All face-to-face workshops, groups, and meetings have moved to phone or online meeting spaces. In all programs, we are following the strict sanitation guidelines put forth by the CDC to minimize risk. If you are a current program participant and want more information, contact your care manager or contact person with questions.
How You Can Help
Sign Up to be a Backup Volunteer
We are actively recruiting backup volunteers should current volunteers or staff not be able to come to work. Register as a backup volunteer.
- Revenue streams are at risk of being disrupted and in order to keep our systems going, and provide for increased service needs, please support LifePath with a donation so that we may address existing as well as new and different requests from those we serve. Donate here.
Other Ways to Help
- Make sewn cloth face coverings to protect our front line workers. Call us at 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 to arrange delivery.
- Consider becoming a Personal Care Attendant. LifePath expects to see a decline in front-line in-home care providers resulting from the effects of the virus on our community.
- Take on the responsibility of checking on the wellbeing of an older adult in your neighborhood, especially if you believe they receive support in their homes.
- Get involved with your local Village program to provide assistance to a neighbor who has a specific household need.
- Step up to create and activate community-based systems, made of informal efforts meant to sustain local communities through this difficult time.