Louisville woman creates way to help high-risk seniors during coronavirus outbreak

Published: Mar. 14, 2020 at 12:31 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While thousands of people across the area are rushing to the store to stock up, there are some who can't.

Health officials are urging those who are high-risk to try to avoid leaving their homes.

Louisville native Erin Hinson said she’s been watching the impact of the coronavirus unfold, wondering how she can help others while everyone starts to practice social distancing.

"I may never have the capacity to develop a vaccine or a magic pill to get rid of COVID-19, but I can master a spreadsheet," Hinson said. "I can organize and mobilize people."

In the early-morning hours Friday, she came up with an idea: pairing up healthy, low-risk young adults with seniors who live nearby who need help.

"I'm hoping that it means you're checking on your neighbors every couple of days, you're taking them home cooked meals, you're offering to go to the grocery store to pick up the supplies they need, their prescriptions," Hinson said.

Hinson explained she knows the importance of social distancing firsthand.

“Unfortunately for me, I have two pre-existing conditions that drop me right into the high-risk category,” Hinson said. “I’m a Type-1 diabetic and also have a chronic lung disease. So I’m out, right? So if there were an opportunity for me to help my community, I couldn’t do it in a public space.”

Friday morning, she launched Louisville COVID-19 Elder Match. It’s a way to partner healthy young adults who have a low risk of contracting coronavirus with seniors in the same or a nearby zip code who need help.

In less than 24 hours and only a few social media posts about it, more than 100 people signed up to offer their help. Hinson said now she’s looking for who needs the help.

“I think it’s an opportunity for people to set their pride aside and understand if you’re going to ask for help, now is the time,” she said. “I need an opportunity to reach those older folks who need help, who need a partner to go through this social-distancing adventure when it’s very evident they need to stay in their homes or close to home.”

If you or someone you know needs help or wants to help, call (502) 791-7930 or click or tap here.

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