PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Every two weeks, Andrea Garcia takes 86-year-old Jeanette grocery shopping. They usually pick up the basics like bread, milk, and bananas. This week, though, their routine will be different.
Garcia is a volunteer with the non-profit called Duet. The organization is adjusting some protocols amid coronavirus concerns. Usually, volunteers go shopping with their neighbors, but now, they will be doing the shopping for them.
“I will do the grocery shopping for her versus her coming with me, and she'll have to stay home, unfortunately,” Garcia said. “But I know she really values that time together because she's alone. Home bound adults don't have family or access to the outside world if it wasn't for a neighbor or volunteer through Duet.”
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Duet provides all kinds of services for older people who can’t drive because of a medical issue or age-related issue. That, of course, includes a grocery shopping program. The seniors want to live independently, and the folks at Duet say that they sometimes get forgotten.
“Your grandma may need milk and eggs and butter. If she can't get to the store to get those items, then she is going to go hungry, and we don't want that,” said Sue Reckinger, the director of volunteer services.
Now they need to help feed the older people they serve, while also protecting them from the coronavirus because they may be at risk of getting very sick. They are even testing a "virtual shopping" program.
“We have a staff member who sits online with these folks,” Reckinger said. “They don't have a computer. She will read the list from the grocery store and say, ‘do you want this, how many items of this do you want, or that.’”
About 200 older adults in six valley cities rely on these volunteers from Duet. That includes Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, and Scottsdale (south of Bell).
For Andrea, it's about much more than just a trip to the store with her neighbor. “Just seeing her smile every other week and the interaction and relationship that we built over the course of the two years -- just means the world, and there are so many people that need it,” Andrea said.
You do need a fingerprint clearance card for the grocery services.
Duet is one of many organizations in the valley that aims to help seniors. We have made it easy to get in touch with not only them but other agencies in the Valley.
(602) 274-5022, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Click here to go to their website.
Area Agency on Aging
Offers programs and services for people in Maricopa County. They also have home meal delivery. Click here for more detailed information.
602-264-4357 (HELP) 24-hour line. Click here to go to their website for a list of all their services.
Services Chandler and Gilbert
480-802-2331, Phones are staffed 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Click here to go to their website.
Services Peoria, Surprise, Sun Cities, El Mirage, Youngtown, Goodyear, Litchfield, Buckeye and Avondale
623-584-4999, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Click here to go to their website.
East Valley Adult Resources (Now under a new name Aster Aging, Inc.)
Services Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler and Apache Junction
480-964-9014 – Confirming hours. Click here to get to their website.
Foothills Caring Corps
Services Carefree, Cave Creek, North Scottsdale and Phoenix north of Jomax
480-488-1105, Monday through Friday 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m. Click here to get to their website.
Neighbors Who Care
Services Sun Lakes and South Chandler
480-895-7133, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Click here to get to their website.
YMCA’S OUTREACH PROGRAMS FOR AHWATUKEE SENIORS (Y OPAS)
(602) 212-6088, Office hours not provided. Click here to get to their website.
Services Verde Communities
480-471-8944, Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Click here to get to their website.