They have modified most of their programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their “Are You Okay” wellness check program.

Executive Director of CARE North Hastings Jennifer Kauffeldt explains the now “ramped up” program is for people 55 or older. “We call people every day,” she explains, noting how volunteers and staff are now helping with the welfare check program. She says they check in to see how the person is getting by and if they’re able to get food and other essential resources. Kauffeldt says they try to build a relationship with the person so they can better help them.

“You do not have to be a client,” she adds about the free service.

Kauffeldt says during the COVID-19 it’s especially important to know someone is out there that cares about you. She notes that some people don’t have family or friends to care for them, which is where CARE North Hastings steps in. She says clients can either call them or be referred to them. She explains when they do when they get someone referred to them, or someone calls, they set them up with the appropriate person who will connect with them to figure out the basics like how often they want to be called.

Right now, Kauffeldt says most clients want to have someone to talk to every day. “They seem to really appreciate that connection,” she says. In some cases, Kauffeldt says the volunteer or staff member becomes like an extended part of the family.

The “Are You Okay” program is open during CARE’s normal business hours of 8:30 AM to 5 PM. The number to call is 613-332-4700. Kauffeldt says if you call before or after those times, your message will be returned as soon as possible.