FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kari Martell, (650) 289-5427
Palo Alto, CA, June 24, 2020–Avenidas, a non-profit organization that operates two Enrichment Centers for seniors in Palo Alto and an Adult Day Heath Care Center in Mountain View, announced today that it is halting the operations of several of its programs–Avenidas Blooms, Handyman Services and the Redwood Cafe–and laying off seven of its 53 employees. Three additional programs, Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center, Avenidas Door to Door and Senior Planet@Avenidas, will scale back their operations to reflect a new virtual service delivery model.
“Due to COVID-19, our operations drastically changed, and this new reality is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, causing us to take on these belt-tightening changes,” states Avenidas CEO and President Amy Andonian. “Although our buildings have been and will remain closed for an unknown amount of time, we are delivering as many existing and new services and programs as we possibly can. I have been impressed at how well we were able to re-tool to meet the new needs of our vulnerable senior population,” Andonian says.
Avenidas staff members pivoted to continue to work remotely Monday through Friday to help seniors, their families and caregivers as everyone navigates this current crisis. Here’s what staff has been doing:
- Delivering groceries, supplies and medicine to those in need
- Taking calls on the hotline and responding to requests
- Updating the Avenidas without Walls Resource page on the website (avenidas.org) to make it a one-stop shop for information
- Making daily, weekly and birthday check-in calls as requested to decrease loneliness
- Creating new programs to keep the LGBTQ community involved, such as a Virtual Support Group, a Movie Review Discussion Group on Zoom and a photo treasure hunt
- Staying involved with adult day health participants and their families with phone calls and nursing visits to drop off supplies and check blood pressures
- Transitioning many classes to Zoom to keep people learning and moving Developing Zoom classes of interest to Avenidas Chinese Community Center members
- Teaching seniors how to use this crucial new tool called Zoom via our Senior Planet@Avenidas online classes and written instructions (available in 3 languages)
- Coordinating volunteers to assist in making social phone calls and writing letters to cheer up isolated seniors
- Working to counsel seniors through this emotional time and help with care planning
“Even in the face of these challenging times, we can see this as an opportunity to innovate in new ways to reach an even bigger and more diverse senior population with our Avenidas Without Walls strategic initiative,” concludes Andonian.