What is NCOA doing about COVID-19 since it is affecting so many older adults?
NCOA is taking the outbreak very seriously. We are committed to the health and safety of older Americans and the organizations that serve them. We are taking proactive steps to share the best information we have. We also are working closely with our network of community-based organizations to understand the challenges they are facing and provide them with trusted resources. At the federal level, we are advocating that maximum resources be allocated to address the needs of older adults, especially those with chronic conditions, including education, outreach, and support for senior centers.
Is NCOA advising that senior centers and other local organizations that serve older adults close? Should organizations stop offering benefits counseling, NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program, and evidence-based healthy aging programs?
As of March 15, the CDC is recommending that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States. NCOA urges all community-based organizations that serve older adults, such as senior centers, to consult with and follow the advice of their local public health officials in determining whether to remain open and what services to offer. CBOs should explore alternate approaches to stay in contact with the older adults they serve, such as through telephone reassurance, meal delivery, group Skype, and promotion of online physical activity programs such as the National Institutes for Aging’s Workouts To Go.
Is NCOA still planning to host its Age+Action Conference in Dallas, June 8-10?
NCOA is monitoring the situation closely and, at this time, is still planning to host the event. The health and safety of our partners, attendees, and guests are paramount to us. NCOA is following the guidance of the CDC, and we have confirmed with the Omni hotel in Dallas, this year’s venue, that protocols to prevent the spread of viruses are in place. Currently, we are still accepting registrations. If that changes, we will inform all participants.
What is NCOA doing to protect its staff during the outbreak?
To protect our staff, NCOA closed its Arlington, VA, headquarters on March 12, and all employees are working remotely full-time.
Will NCOA be able to deliver on all contracts and grants?
Yes. NCOA is committed to providing our funders and partners with the highest quality work possible in pursuit of our mission. We will continue to deliver on all contracts and grants.