Navigating Change Post-COVID
The challenging era of the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented disruptions to communities worldwide. As Sourcewise navigated through this challenging time, our top focus as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Santa Clara County (SCC) was to provide the tools and services that will help create meaningful change for older adults living during and after this pandemic. As of February 28, 2023, Governor Newsom marked the end of the Major Disaster Declaration (MDD) in response to the pandemic.
Sourcewise Meals on Wheels expanded their home-delivered meal services to residents of San Jose, aged 18 or older who were affected by COVID-19. This resulted in enrolling 786 adults and serving 136,366 meals. Sourcewise also launched its Ambassador program in the midst of the pandemic. The Sourcewise Ambassador program helped maintain relationships while practicing social distance with Meals on Wheels participants. This ongoing program connects volunteers with homebound older adults by phone, offering emotional and social support.
Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Authority (PA) received Essential Protective Gear (EPG) from the state. To continue providing services to the community, PA offered masks and gloves for the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) population. Consumers and providers were able to request protective gear by mail.
Following the directives from the California Department of Aging (CDA), Sourcewise’s service delivery underwent significant changes following the end of the MDD. The flexibilities granted under the MDD, which allowed for adaptive responses to the pandemic, are no longer allowable as of July 1, 2023. This allows a return to pre-pandemic service norms, aligning with our obligation as the AAA to provide essential services to older adults, caregivers, individuals with disabilities, and all adults in SCC.
Sourcewise has transitioned back to pre-pandemic service delivery and have adapted to meet the evolving needs of our team and the community we serve. Sourcewise has resumed in-office support services. This change ensures a more direct and personalized approach to assisting the community. To enhance accessibility, transportation limitations have been lifted. This crucial adjustment facilitates the movement of older adults, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities, allowing them to access more services within SCC.
Sourcewise remains committed to providing support to our community. The end of the MDD marks a new chapter for all of us, and together we move forward into a future filled with hope and resilience.