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How you can help elderly people in Miami right away amid the coronavirus outbreak
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Here’s how Miami is coming together to assist the elderly right now

Falyn Wood
Written by
Falyn Wood

Miami⁠—the whole state of Florida, really⁠—is famously a retirees’ paradise. Our senior citizen population is abundant, and though it is frequently the reason we find ourselves clutching our steering wheels with white-knuckled intensity, we really do love our Miami viejitos.

Which is why we’re relieved to see the city rallying behind one of its most vulnerable populations. In an effort to protect the elderly community from the coronavirus, Miami-Dade has closed community centers that serve seniors until further notice. Although essential services provided by senior community centers, such as free meals, will be delivered to seniors via the Miami-Dade County 311 Call Center service, other organizations and businesses are helping pick up the slack to provide the elderly the support they need right now.

Here’s how:

Adjusted store hours

Reserving two hours every Tuesday and Thursday morning for vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems.

Dollar General
Dedicating the first open hour of each day to seniors.

Fresh Market
Offering a reserved shopping hour for seniors and the at-risk between 8 and 9am.

Reserving 7 to 8am daily to serving seniors and more vulnerable customers.

Exclusively serving “vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns” during the first hour of shopping each Wednesday.

Trader Joe’s
Stores have been shortened to 9am to 7pm to accommodate crowds and staff in a safe and controlled manner.

Opening stores an hour early for customers 60 and older every Tuesday through April 28.

Whole Foods
Serving customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the public.

Counseling and Outreach

Florida SHINE
This free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs provides one-on-one counseling and information on Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance questions, which will now be conducted exclusively over the phone.

OpusCare of South Florida
This nonprofit hospice organization has an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, bereavement counselors and more who are currently providing 24/7 telemedicine services for those who qualify for hospice or palliative care.

Food Banks

Food for Life
This Midtown nonprofit continues to provide food assistance for clients as scheduled. Clients that are able to drive and pick up groceries are asked to remain in their vehicles. Staff will place the groceries in the car trunks. Clients with a lack of transportation and/or remaining at home can call ahead of time to schedule a delivery by calling 305-576-FOOD (3663).

Glory Temple Ministries
Located between Little Haiti and Hialeah, Glory Temple provides a variety of free food programs, including specifically for seniors. Currently, the food bank remains open by appointment only.


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