ElderSource, the Area Agency on Aging and Aging & Disability Resource Center for Northeast Florida, honored COA as one of its 2021 Luminary Award winners during the annual mid-November A Night with the Stars event in Jacksonville. Presented by Florida Blue Medicare, the event celebrated organizations that worked alongside ElderSource during the pandemic to support the critical needs of seniors and caregivers. The highlight of the event was the presentation of the 2021 Delores Barr Weaver Elder Advocate Award given to Secretary of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Richard Prudom for his work to support seniors and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other efforts he led last year to support seniors and their caregivers in communities around the state.
As it was for everyone, the year 2020 was a challenge for Council on Aging of Volusia County, as the organization encountered obstacles it had never envisioned. No matter the situation, their focus remained steadfast not only on the care of clients, but also on the care of their employees. During just the first 12 months of the pandemic, COA delivered 466,824 meals; fielded nearly 11,000 phone calls from seniors seeking assistance with a variety of needs; made approximately 20,000 telephone reassurance calls to clients; and supplied over 33,000 units of PPE--all while continuing to provide In-Home Services, transportation services, and case management for their growing number of clients. Support for services came from ElderSource, state and federal funding, private donations, and corporate and foundation grants.
“As the primary organization supporting older adults in Northeast Florida, ElderSource partners with agencies such as County Council on Aging of Volusia County to ensure that seniors and their caregivers can access vital services that help them remain in their homes and live independently,” said Linda Levin, CEO of ElderSource. “Our event, A Night with the Stars, not only honored those who worked closely with us during the pandemic, but it highlighted the fact that funding for senior services remain limited and we often look to the community to support our Senior to Senior program.”