As sheltering in place finishes its fifth month, Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley works to make sure no one is left to fend alone.
"We are still doing food drops for isolated seniors who have no family or no ability to get to the stores at all," friendly visitors coordinator Pam Silliman reported. "We are trying to promote Meals on Wheels for them so we know they'll have someone to check on them as well."
She also makes sure that she or her volunteers mail cards and notes as well as making telephone calls in lieu of the usual visits in person.
"We send out a newsletter every other week if they have access to email," Silliman said. "I've been printing out and sending parts of that to my seniors."
The newsletters include tips on things to do at home and emergency telephone numbers.
She said the list of seniors she watches out for has grown since shelter in place began, and Friendly Visitors is currently helping 130.
"We are adding more every month," Silliman said. "It's a word of mouth kind of thing. I'd love to be able to do more if they know about us."
"Lots of seniors don't really know we can do things to assist them," she added "They think everything is closed but we've stayed open every day. If we can't handle what they need, we pass it to a case manager."
Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley has facilities adjacent to the Pleasanton Senior Center on Sunol Boulevard, and food bags are prepared there for distribution once a month with staples as well as other donated goodies and fun items.
"We've added toilet paper to every one of our drops," Silliman said.
Volunteers have been providing rides for seniors who need to go to the doctor or other appointments outside Pleasanton, which is served by paratransit.
"We can drive outside the city and that has been really good for the seniors," Silliman said.
She can also advise on general help such as how to get a prescription picked up.
"I am looking for more seniors and more volunteers," she said. "We've gotten calls from wonderful neighbors who have helped homebound seniors."
She also works with high school students, who made cards for Mother's Day and Father's Day, and she is working on setting up pen pals.
The program also is putting together an exercise video to distribute to seniors to use at home, and gathering recipes to get creative with common pantry items.
Silliman urges people to let her know about a senior who could benefit from help.
"The more seniors, the better," she said.
Contact her at [email protected] or phone 931-5379.