INDIANAPOLIS — If you or someone you know needs assistance registering to get the COVID-19 vaccine, there is help available. Thousands of older adults lack internet access or are unable to physically get to a clinic.
Andrea Buchholz is a caregiver for both her 80-year-old mother and 83-year-old aunt. “I try to juggle all at one time,” she said. “I want to make sure I’m a good employee, I want to make sure I do my job right, but yet I want to make sure that my family is taken care of.”
When she heard her mom and aunt were able to receive the vaccine, she was excited, but had no idea where to start. “I wouldn’t know how to get them there. I wouldn’t know where to go. I didn’t know who to talk to,” said Buchholz.
Her mother has worked with CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions for five years now. “CICOA contacted me about my mom getting vaccinated and I’m like OMG. I was like you really have no idea how your timing is so perfect,” said Buchholz. “I said can I go ahead and get my auntie scheduled too? Thank goodness, they’re scheduled on the same day same time and I’m like yes that’s one worry off my brain.”
“We want to make sure that we can eliminate as many barriers as we can so that our seniors can get this vaccination,” said Tauhric Brown, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions president.
CICOA provides services to older adults as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, covering eight counties in Central Indiana. They’re calling 15,000 seniors they work with to make sure they know they can register for the vaccine. “We are looking for two responses. One: does the senior have technology and are they savvy enough to get into that site as a register? And then if not, we are doing that on their behalf,” said Brown.
If they don’t have transportation, CICOA has their own services or can connect them with EMS mobile units if they’re unable to leave their home. “It’s a big relief and it’s a big help,” said Buchholz. “Everybody needs help and I know I am one of that everybody.”
“That’s our legacy generation,” said Brown. “The stories and being out and mobile and spending time with grand babies and great grand babies, they’ve missed a lot of that.”
This shot in the arm is their lifeline to seeing friends and family again, one day. “This is their safety zone and they want to stay in their safety zone,” said Buchholz. “And I’m going to make sure that they’re able to stay in their safety zone.”
Here is contact information for CICOA: