COVID-19 Updates & Resources

NICOA to Convene Weekly COVID-19 Call with Title VI Grantees Every Friday

The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) will be convening weekly calls with all Title VI grantees about the COVID-19.  These calls will provide new information and updates to tribal programs, but most importantly are an opportunity for tribes to discuss the impact that COVID-19 is having in your communities.  ACL staff will be on all calls, as will your resource centers from NIEJI, the University of Alaska, the University of Hawaii and the University of North Dakota. 
Call Details: Each Friday at 3:00pm EDT beginning March 13, 2020.
Webex link:
Audio Connection:  202-774-2300; Access Code: 990 715 504.  
In order to mute and unmute your line, please join using the WebEx link provided above with the desktop or mobile application. Using only the dial-in will NOT allow you to unmute your line.
Find instructions for how to connect to audio on Webex here


Disaster Relief
Mental Health
Support Services


Joint PSA with Ad Council and AARP— April 2, 2020

The Ad Council is always first to respond to national crisis and as a partner with them for more than 8 years on caregiving issues, AARP has shared key resources for their #AloneTogether campaign and is working with them to develop specific coronavirus-specific caregiving digital PSAs to push out to media outlets across the country.

AARP Caregiving Page— April 2, 2020

Last year, AARP reached more than 11 million caregivers with their content, through social or through their in-person and webinar events. AARP's dedicated caregiving page has been updated to include all of the recent coronavirus coverage relevant for family caregivers and an index to help caregivers find the exact information they need quickly. Also, you can find a blog about helping caregivers navigate COVID-19 authored by Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, here. Please note, families can also connect with other caregivers and hear from experts in AARP’s Caregiver group on Facebook.

COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Grandfamilies and Multigenerational Families — March 20, 2020

Our country and the world are facing a pandemic unlike any many of us have seen before. People over the age of 60 and those with compromised immune systems are among the highest-risk populations COVID-19 is impacting. While grandparents are being advised to isolate themselves physically from grandchildren, it is nearly impossible for older caregivers to distance themselves from the children they are raising. You are on the front line for your family every day. Today’s challenges are making it much tougher to care for them. It’s important to stay calm and do everything you can to stay healthy, informed and connected. Here are a few resources and suggestions.  

Alzheimer's Association: Tips for Dementia Caregivers — March 19, 2020

Most likely, dementia does not increase risk for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, just like dementia does not increase risk for flu. However, dementia-related behaviors, increased age and common health conditions that often accompany dementia may increase risk. For example, people with Alzheimer's disease and all other dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other recommended precautions to prevent illness. In addition, diseases like COVID-19 and the flu may worsen cognitive impairment due to dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association has released tips for dementia caregivers during COVID-19 which are available here.

AARP Coronavirus Article: Families Concerned About Loved Ones in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living — March 19, 2020

AARP has published an article, "Families Concerned About Loved Ones in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living," as officials bar guests to protect vulnerable residents from coronavirus.  The article explores the federal restrictions on nursing home visits and parses what the emergency measures now in place mean in practice for residents and their families, as well as for staff. Guidelines for residents and staff are discussed and experts make recommendations for family caregivers.  Read the article here

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Resources for Older Adults, Family Caregivers and Health Care Providers — March 19, 2020

As we all work together to ensure the safety of the public, and in particular, older adults and other individuals who are at increased risk from COVID-19, it is important to turn to trusted sources of information.  Here is a link to some resources from the John A. Hartford Foundation and its partners and grantees that they regularly update with information for older adults, family caregivers and health care providers.  Find the link here

Disaster Relief

Emergency Determination Under the Stafford Act — March 20, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the President declared that the ongoing pandemic is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency determination under section 501(b) of the Stafford Act, and that the emergency exists nationwide.  The President also stated that requests for a declaration of a “major disaster” as set forth in section 401(a) of the Stafford Act may be appropriate and encouraged governors and tribal leaders to consider requesting such a declaration. Declaration of a major disaster would trigger disaster relief authority in the Older Americans Act (PDF).

Older Americans Act Disaster Relief FAQs — March 16, 2020

You can review these Frequently Asked Questions regarding Older American Act Disaster Relief here.  


VitalTalk Resource: COVID-19 Communication Skills — March 19, 2020

VitalTalk has released a resource for healthcare professionals on "COVID-19 Communication Skills."  The primer is a COVID-19 communications resource to help health care clinicians with their conversations with patients and families. VitalTalk, which trains clinicians in effective communications, crowdsourced this primer to provide practical advice on how to talk about difficult topics related to COVID-19. To get the resource, click here

CAPC COVID-19 Response Resources — March 19, 2020

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) has released several COVID-19 resources, among them is a response toolkit.  CAPC has organized a COVID-19 toolkit including crisis communication and symptom management protocols for all clinicians, and guidance to help palliative care teams address high levels of volume and stress during a crisis.

COVID-19 in Older Adults: Key Points for Emergency Department Providers — March 19, 2020

COVID-19 is a geriatric emergency. This peer-reviewed edition of the Journal of Geriatric Emergency Medicine, authored by several members of the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative (GEDC) and other colleagues, has been prepared to share the most up-to-date (as of March 18, 2020) information possible regarding emergency treatment of older adults in the time of COVID-19.  Read the full article here

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, COVID-19 Response — March 19, 2020

Any Veteran with symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath should immediately contact their local VA facility.  VA urges Veterans to call before visiting.  Alternatively, Veterans can sign into My HealtheVet to send a secure message to VA or use telehealth options to explain their condition and receive a prompt diagnosis.  VA has implemented an aggressive public health response to protect and care for Veterans in the face of this emerging health risk and has administered over 322 COVID-19 tests nationwide while taking aggressive steps to prevent transmission.  Additional information regarding VA’s response to COVID-19 can be found here on its website.

COVID-19 PSA from Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (Navajo Nation) — March 19, 2020

The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) and Dr. Sophina Calderon have created this useful and informative PSA about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), how it is spread, symptoms, treatment and prevention.  View the video here. 

FAQs Related to Evidence-Based Health Promotion, Disease Prevention Programs — March 12, 2020

Please click here to review these Frequently Asked Questions related to Evidence-Based Health Promotion, Disease Prevention Programs. 

Mental Health

COVID-19 Demands Attention to Mental Health, Too— April 2, 2020

Even in a world without COVID-19, depression is more common and more severe in both older adults, especially those 70 and older, and those living below the federal poverty level. Because COVID-19 and related economic concerns have the potential to greatly affect these vulnerable populations during the pandemic, public health efforts must pay special attention to addressing this issue.

Taking care of your emotional health during the COVID-19 pandemic will help you plan clearly and protect yourself and your family.  AARP has some recommendations and resources that can help ease depressive symptoms during this stressful time.  Read more here

Now More Than Ever Before Campaign— March 30, 2020

The President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) Office have created a messaging campaign in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This campaign, titled More Than Ever Before, is designed to help people by encouraging them to care for their mental health—and support those they love—every day.

The campaign resides on the PREVENTS Facebook page and includes an introductory video from Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Executive Director at PREVENTS.

Download the More Than Ever Before Toolkit.

Society of Indian Psychologists Resource Page — March 23, 2020

The Society of Indian Psychologists have provided a resource page with links to various mental health and other COVID-19 resources.  Click here.

SAMHSA's Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health — March 17, 2020

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a tip sheet for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak. This tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help. You can view this tip sheet here.


NRCNA’s COVID-19 Nutrition Resource Center — April 1, 2020

The National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging now has an online nutrition resource center that provides resources and tools to support COVID-19 emergency preparedness and response.

Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP) of the Older Americans Act and States — March 30, 2020

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has released a fact sheet to answer questions regarding the Nutrition Services Incentive Program of the Older Americans Act and States.

FAQ – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — March 27, 2020

These FAQs are provided in response to questions received by the ACL on the supplemental funding provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for Title VI nutrition programs. Grant awards were issued by the ACL on March 25, 2020.

Nutrition Services Frequently Asked Emergency Management Questions – Updated to Address Issues Related to COVID-19 — March 12, 2020

These are highlights from and updates to the Nutrition Services Frequently Asked Emergency Management Questions which can be found here


Preparedness for Caregivers during COVID-19— April 2, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious illness from the coronavirus. With already more than 40 million family caregivers helping loved ones with care in the U.S., we expect the virus to increase the number of family caregivers who are providing short-term or long-term care to any older loved one. AARP wants to offer some guidance to family caregivers, specifically to help them tackle how to create a plan for those they are caring for, and supporting those new to caring for someone due to the virus impacting more of the older population. Get the tip sheet here

Closing the Gaps: Advancing Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery for Older Adults — March 19, 2020

The American Red Cross and the American Academy of Nursing have released a report, “Closing the Gaps: Advancing Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery for Older Adults.”  Based on a review of the latest evidence on disaster preparedness for older adults, the report was produced by members of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and the American Academy of Nursing Policy Expert Round Table on Emergency/Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults.  Read the report here

Tribes Expect Little Help in Fight to Protect Elders from Coronavirus — March 19, 2020

When a resident of the Tulalip Tribe here in western Washington tested positive for coronavirus, Chairwoman Teri Gobin quickly let her people know the tribe’s priority in limiting the spread.  “Our Elders are the most vulnerable,” Gobin said in a video address. “The important thing is to make sure that our Elders are OK.” (In many Native communities, "Elder" is an official title.)  As tribes across the country take steps to fight the spread of the coronavirus, they’re doing so mindful that the virus has proven especially dangerous to the elderly, a venerated group in many Native communities.  Read the full article here

Five Tips to Prepare for and Reduce Risk of Illness in Older Adults — March 19, 2020

You can read these 5 Ways Family Caregivers Can Help Aging Loved Ones Prepare for and Reduce Risk of Coronavirus here.

What Do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — March 3, 2020

With many illnesses, older adults and people with disabilities face higher risks of contracting the disease and/or experiencing complications, particularly if they also have chronic medical conditions.  If specific guidance for older adults and people with disabilities is issued, ACL will post it on this page and share it through the ACL Updates email service. 


COVID-19 Consumer Tip Sheet for Protecting Yourself and Medicare — March 23, 2020

Scams related to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are rapidly increasing as the public health emergency develops. Scammers are targeting older adults and those with serious long-term health conditions who appear to have a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Fraudsters are attempting to bill Medicare for sham tests or treatments related to the coronavirus and are targeting individuals to illegally obtain money or Medicare numbers. What can you do to stop COVID-19 fraud?  The Senior Medicare Patrol has provided this COVID-19 Consumer Tip Sheet and this COVID-19 Infographic.

An Important Message from ACL IT — March 19, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and our professional and personal response to it, it’s important to be alert for both existing and new cybersecurity threats.  There are bad actors who take advantage of crises to exploit cybersecurity weaknesses -- both human and technical.  You can’t do much about technical weakness -- but you can be prepared for attempts to exploit you.  Please pay extra attention to links and emails regardless of the subject matter. Pay special attention to the sender, and the organization from which the email was sent, or where a link in the email message may be sending you.  The cybersecurity community has seen an increase of phishing to lead people to sites that would install malware or ransomware -- the spoofed Johns Hopkins COVID-19 coronavirus response site is the best example of this.  
When you receive email, or you’re following a link from an email,  please slow down for a brief moment and consider these things. Is this a phishing email or not? Is this a legitimate website or not? Those few moments may prevent hours, days, or even weeks of effort required to recover from a malware or ransomware attack.  Here’s a news story (from a trusted organization!) that explains the impact of how hackers exploit our trust.  The links included in the story (also from trusted sources!) provide good examples of how to recognize and spot phishing and scams.  Think of it as the cyber equivalent of social distancing, and frequently washing your hands!   And please be safe and take care of yourselves and others in all possible ways!

Support Services

AARP National Tele-town Hall Events— April 2, 2020

During these live events, experts share information about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and participants have asked questions – and gotten answers – on topics including safety and prevention, Medicare beneficiary costs, coverage and policies related to tele-health services, avoiding frauds and scams, and caring for loved ones. AARP will host these online events every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. Details can be found here.

Dedicated AARP Coronavirus Website— April 2, 2020

More than 4 million individuals visited AARP’s coronavirus site, AARP's anchor news and information site, last week. On this page, extensive coronavirus information and resources including stories, videos, and tips designed to help people protect themselves and cope throughout this difficult time can be found. Also available in Spanish

AARP Community Connections — March 27, 2020

AARP just launched a new online service designed to help users find and organize local volunteer groups to provide financial, emotional and other support to those most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. AARP Community Connections (open to non-members and members) features a searchable directory of mutual aid organizations that have sprung up nationwide to help people at higher risk of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, as well as workers who have been laid off due to the pandemic.

NAPCA Launches Automated In-Language Helpline and Website for Older Adults and Caregivers in Response to COVID-19 — March 20, 2020

The Helpline and website offers information on prevention, symptoms, and planning in 8 different languages. Each language will have a dedicated 1-800 line so that older adults who are limited English-proficient can immediately learn about the COVID-19 without having to navigate through difficult English prompts.

Social Security Office Will Only Offer Phone Service - Press Release — March 17, 2020

All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. This decision protects the population we serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, we are still able to provide critical services. View this Social Security Press Release here.  

Home and Community-Based Supportive Services and Elder Rights FAQs — March 12, 2020

These Frequently Asked Questions for Home and Community-Based Supportive Services and Elder Rights can be viewed here


Last modified Apr 3, 2020