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Area Agency on Aging: More seniors across Santa Barbara County in need of services as pandemic continues

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Whether it’s getting groceries or finding a support group, seniors are
turning to the Santa Maria Area Agency on Aging for help.

“They helped me navigate the confusion of filling out all the paperwork
for social security … gave me the advice I need it … for it to go smoothly
… and it has," said senior citizen Rusty Restine.

As the pandemic enters its second year, managers in Santa Maria say its services to seniors have become more needed than ever before.

" … it’s been a tremendous impact … even those who have been vaccinated still
have fear … and even before the vaccination … still have fear of leaving
their homes …  as well as depression … isolation," said executive director Joyce Lippman of the Central Coast Communion for Senior Citizens.

Managers at the agency say thanks to federal funding, they have been able to continue operating since the start of the pandemic," said Lippman.

" …  well the first would be nutrition … you know people who are accustomed
to going out to a senior center or a community center … we’re fearful of
doing it plus those facilities closed," said Lippman.

As a way to help provided nutritional meals, volunteers from the agency
make deliveries for seniors in need.

" … it’s a pretty high demand you know everything closing down … maybe some
people might’ve lost a job … A lot of people are coming through to our food
share … it’s really nice going to help the members in my community you know
… giving back and everything," said volunteer Yahir Rendon of the Area Agency on Aging.

The agency says the need for senior services is not just happening here in
Santa Maria.

It's also prevalent throughout Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura
counties.

" … we have seniors who are in need we also have seniors not in need … but
our community is without a doubt having seniors with a lot of needs," said Lippman.

The agency is hoping more will volunteer as the demand for services continues.

" … all of our services need volunteers whether it’s a retired Health
Professional … or someone who’s willing to drive meals to people … things
like that are essential … to surviving for whatever period of time we need
to," said Lippman.

If you would like to volunteer at the Santa Maria Area on Aging, contact Joyce Lippman at

Phone(805) 925-9554.

The agency is located on 528 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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