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How to Help the Elderly During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Joe Dickman | May 4th, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to infect thousands in the U.S., with the total case count rising every day. By now, we know the virus is highly infectious and disproportionally threatens those living with chronic conditions, many of whom are elderly adults. To limit the spread and protect vulnerable populations, governments advised for physical distancing while essential stores remain open and offer special senior shopping hours. Companies can do much more to help the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic, and here are some of our recommendations for doing so.

Increase Access by Upping Home Delivery

As Americans maintain physical distance and remain in their homes, they increasingly turn to e-commerce shopping options. To meet this need for delivered goods, many different delivery companies can look to expand their operations to increase their range and speed up their deliveries.

Meal kit companies, grocery and restaurant delivery services, and even dairy delivery services can make several changes. They can hire on more workers, expand their fleets with additional refrigerated trucks and vans, and market their services to seniors who don’t want to leave their home to restock. To connect with home-bound customers, consider more traditional marketing mediums such as television and radio as well as social media platforms with high levels of senior engagement—Facebook is one such example.

Takes Steps to Deliver Safely

Simply offering access doesn’t solve the problem: anxious seniors need to know your team takes pains to maintain product sanitation during this time. As you market your services, mention how you check on the health of your staff, limit human contact with food via gloves, masks, and other protective layers, and offer contactless delivery. Contactless delivery in particular promises to set seniors’ minds at ease about contracting the virus because it eliminates the only opportunity for direct human contact.

Offer Services to Struggling Assisted Living Facilities

For companies pondering how to help the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic more directly, consider partnering specifically with a nearby assisted living facility. Due to high-profile outbreaks within other facilities, residents and staff in locations all over the country are afraid of their own outbreak and overstressed. Companies with access to necessities can discount their deliveries for these locations or even give donations. Residents also need encouragement and community, as their family cannot visit—florists can gift flowers to brighten residents’ days, while other companies can get creative to break the fearful monotony of assisted living life.

Besides residents’ need for food, supplies, and encouragement, assisted living staff members deserve a break. Many “non-essential” nursing home workers don’t currently work, leading to lapses in treatment and excess pressure on remaining caregivers. The opportunity to receive delivered supplies lessens their load and helps them maintain their endurance as they care for residents.

If you have questions about how your company can expand its delivery capabilities, contact our team at Emerald Transportation Solutions. We even offer modified pricing and terms for those looking to buy vehicles during this pandemic in an effort to help companies get their product out and help people.

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What does under DOT mean?

Questions regarding DOT requirements come up often. 10,000 lbs GVW (gross vehicle weight) and over are commercial vehicles that fall under the Department of Transportation regulatory requirements.

What is the difference between GVW and payload?

GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is the entire weight of the vehicle including the payload. The payload weight represents the amount of cargo you are hauling.

What is a self-powered unit and a vehicle-powered unit?

A self-powered unit has its own fuel source and will run independent of the truck. This is the heaviest and most expensive option. While vehicle-powered units run off the engine via a compressor mounted on the engine. These are less expensive and lighter in weight but you must run the truck or plug the electric standby into shore power.

What does K-factor mean and why is that important?

K-factor is a term that stands for the overall insulating value of the container (truck body). Quite simply the lower the K-factor the better the truck body will be able to maintain a given temperature and require less energy to do so.

How much lighter is a Poly Van vs a US spec body?

Poly Van bodies are very light. On average we estimate we are 75-150 lbs per foot lighter than a traditional sheet and post foamed in place body. These weight savings translates to less fuel burn and less CO2 emissions, along with added payload, the most important benefit.

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