LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — If you're older or have serious health issues, leaving your house feels risky right now.
Many are faced with the difficult reality of needing to get their prescriptions. But a few local police departments have started programs to take that burden away.
For seniors like Deena Day, the service is a life-saver and a relief during this isolating time.
“It was a relief, it was a real relief. I didn’t have to go out and do it myself and possibly come into contact with someone who’d been exposed or didn’t have symptoms--or did have symptoms,” Day said. “You’re dependent upon other people to provide you with necessities. And for someone like me, and other seniors who absolutely need their prescriptions, this service is invaluable.”
Day called the Lake Oswego Police Department and signed up for their free prescription pick-up and drop-off service. She just had to order and pay for the prescription and let them know an officer would pick it up.
“The public is absolutely just beside themselves for the support we're offering and the service. People are just absolutely appreciative,” Lake Oswego PD Adult Resource Officer Dawwn Pecoraro said.
Over the last few days, Officer Pecoraro has picked up 20 prescriptions from Rite-Aid for people over 65 or those with underlying health issues who are more prone to getting seriously sick from COVID-19.
When delivering the prescriptions, she wears protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and an N95 mask.
“I'm just contacting them on their front porch, maintaining the best distance I can. I'm using a clipboard to hand them their prescriptions, they're in bags,” Pecoraro said.
“For many of these people these were life-saving medications and they were having to make a choice about whether or not they put themselves at risk by going out and going to the pharmacy, or going without medication,” Lake Oswego Sgt. Tom Hamann said.
If you live in Lake Oswego and are 65 years old or older or have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk, call the Lake Oswego Police Department at (503) 635-0250 to set up prescription delivery from one of the Rite-Aid pharmacies in Lake Oswego. The service is available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday
Lake Oswego followed Forest Grove Police Department’s example.
“With what we’re all going through right now our chief of police was brainstorming on something we could do to maybe add a little peace of mind to some of the more vulnerable citizens who are obviously anxious for what’s unfolding here across the country,” Capt. Michael Hall said. “And he actually presented this to us Monday before last as a potential thing we could reach out and encourage senior citizens and those that are vulnerable to maintain their social distance and yet not feel like they’re socially isolated.”
Capt. Hall said changes in daily operations and patrol to reduce exposure during the pandemic freed up some unallocated patrol time. So a few officers can make rounds to pharmacies and homes all in the same day.
Forest Grove started the program a week ago and has delivered to 11 people so far.
“They've been very complimentary, very happy to see they've been able to avoid going out when they don't have to or this can eliminate one more trip they have to make,” Hall said.
If you qualify and live in Forest Grove, you can contact the police department's records division Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Same process as Lake Oswego: You'll provide police your personal information, order your prescription and pre-pay, and let them know an officer will be by to pick it up.
Milwaukie started the service Wednesday for the most at-risk seniors over 60 years old. Police there will pick up prescriptions and deliver it to people's homes from Rite Aid, Safeway and Walgreens. If you're in need you can call MPD Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at (503) 786-7400.
Corvallis Police announced officers will deliver prescriptions to residents over 65 years old or who have life-threatening pre-existing medical conditions, too. Make sure your pharmacy will allow for Corvallis police to come pick up your medication. Call (541) 766-6120 or visit this website to request and coordinate delivery and provide them your personal information.
All the programs will be in place for the rest of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's stay home order.
Deena Day hopes seniors and more vulnerable Americans everywhere can benefit from these potentially life-saving programs in their own communities.
“It has been a godsend, I'll tell you,” she said.
Video courtesy of Lake Oswego Police Department.