ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday the launch of the Caregiver Services Corps, a program to support Maryland seniors who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Caregiver Services Corps, according to Hogan, is able to quickly deploy volunteers and other resources to the homes of seniors who need urgent assistance with everyday tasks when their typical caregiver becomes unable to help them due to COVID-19 exposure, illness, or other challenges.
“Since the beginning of the public health crisis, we have been focused on the impact of COVID-19 on older Marylanders, and we are pursuing every course of action to protect their health, safety, and quality of life,” Hogan said. “This program is just another way that Maryland is leading the charge to support our most vulnerable residents, now more than ever.”
Hogan said Monday's announcement is another step in his ongoing actions to protect older Marylanders. The governor has directed the Maryland Department of Health to order increasingly stringent health and safety protocols for nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and established statewide strike teams that are deployed to facilities in need of support.
Hogan has also expanded the Maryland Department of Aging’s free Senior Call Check program, which places a daily check-in call to enrolled seniors.
Seniors or their loved ones may request assistance from the Caregiver Services Corps if a friend or family member who typically provides care becomes temporarily unavailable.
Volunteers can be deployed to seniors’ homes to provide assistance, including maintaining daily hygiene routines, preparing meals, picking up groceries or medications, or connecting virtually with health care providers.
Those in need of assistance should call 2-1-1 to be connected with the Caregiver Services Corps help center. The trained staff at the call center will triage the caller’s needs and help match them with a volunteer.
The call center is available seven days a week and is capable of taking calls in several languages.
The Caregiver Services Corps is not intended to replace long-term arrangements for ongoing needs. Seniors and their loved ones should always work directly with their primary care physician or insurance company to arrange for such services.
“We are delighted to be able to provide the Caregiver Services Corps program to give older Marylanders reassurance they have support at this time,” Rona Kramer, Department of Aging Secretary said. “I would also like to urge Marylanders to volunteer to be a part of this effort. You can help your neighbors in the community who need assistance.”
If you're interested in volunteering, you are encouraged to sign up at the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps website.
Officials stated that those interested in volunteering do not need to work in the healthcare or medical field and have plenty of opportunities to provide support with in-home care or in non-contact roles.