In January of this year, I traveled to upstate New York to help my very active 83-year-old father move into an independent living building. He had been contemplating this move for a few years since my mother’s passing in 2015, but had wrestled with the decision. What finally pushed him to make the move was his own realization that he needed and wanted more social engagement in his life. And for the first six weeks after his move, he took full advantage of the opportunity to easily enjoy meals with other residents and to participate in movies, lectures and other programming. So when the pandemic hit the.... Read More
By Dorothea Vafiadis, MS. This article originally appeared on the NCOA blog
The situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing rapidly. Here is the latest advice from public health experts about the best way to protect yourself and to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Some of these tips will be familiar to you and some are new.
It’s still true that the best way to stay safe is to limit your interactions with other people as much as possible and take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.
People all over the world, including Americans, are practicing social distancing during this coronavirus pandemic. We’re sheltering at home, leaving only when necessary to replenish essential supplies or to get in a little exercise.
Yes, it feels strange, this interruption to our lives and regular routines, but everyone who can stay home should; it saves lives and helps halt the spread of the virus.
We’re not, however, blind to a byproduct of all this enforced separation: loneliness. A survey.... Read More
As we’re all navigating a lot of uncertainty, upsetting news, isolation, and grief, all of the self-care activities that were important for staying healthy before the pandemic may be even more critical now. Even though there is a lot of emphasis on COVID-19 right now, your overall health is just as important as any other time. The better controlled your chronic conditions, the better you’ll be able to fight the virus.... Read More
by Diane Eastabrook. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
In the DC Comics town of Metropolis, the townsfolk had Superman to protect them from villains like Lex Luthor, Brainiac and Darkseid.
But in real-life Metropolis, Ill. (pop. 6,133), there is no larger-than-life superhero. There’s a 15-foot-tall statue of Superman in the town’s center, but nobody in this sleepy community across the Ohio River from Kentucky is betting he’ll be much help if the coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to spread there.
Sitting alone in her Metropolis home amid a statewide lockdown, 83-year-old Lena Mathews worries about getting the virus. “I am concerned. There is not a shot or anything for it,” she says.
by Megy Karydes. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Now that the 2020 election season is officially underway, you may be interested in finding ways to become politically active. Not only could doing so help you make a difference, it could boost your sense of well-being, too.
Getting involved in campaigns and issues is something that many people in their 50s and 60s find especially appealing. Sometimes, it brings them back to their younger days.
Ellen Hendrickx grew up in a politically active family. But it wasn’t until after her daughter went to college that Hendrickx became active herself as an adult, locally in Greenburgh, N.Y., near New York City.
SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has recently launched SAGEConnect, a program that matches LGBT elders with volunteer community members and allies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of our LGBT pioneers, the heightened need for social isolation has left them homebound with severely limited support networks. The one-to-one contact offered through SAGEConnect will help combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection during this unprecedented time of COVID-19, and ensure that elders are linked to resources if they are in need of help.
Because of the limited resources available to LGBT elders during this time, SAGE is utilizing its connection.... Read More
Direct Care Workers Can Address Social Isolation and Loneliness
A remarkable though unsettling new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has drawn attention to the extensive harm that social isolation and loneliness are having on the health and well-being of older adults. The report—Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System—provides a sweeping overview of these two issues, as well as a compelling rationale for why.... Read More
COVID-19: We Must Care for Older Adults’ Mental Health
by Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This article originally appeared on the AFSP Lifesaver Blog.
No matter your age, mental health and well-being are influenced by numerous factors and are susceptible to change. Right now, most people, across all sectors of society, are being affected by the global health crisis related to the coronavirus. One particular group we should keep in mind during this challenging time is older adults, whose routines and usual support systems may be disrupted.
The most powerful factors that impact mental health and well-being for.... Read More
This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.
Although the implementation of social distancing is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current pandemic from worsening, the stress of isolation can have an affect on anyone. With elders designated as “high risk,” elders and those supporting them worry that precautions could further isolate this vulnerable community, exacerbating loneliness and stress.
Chronic stress is harmful to your health and can be particularly hazardous for elders. Although it’s difficult to determine the extent to which chronic stress affects the health of elders, there is undoubtedly a correlation.
Here are some articles discussing both the need to stay socially distant.... Read More
by Cecilia Hernandez-Cromwell. This video originally aired on Telemundo Oklahoma. The Spanish-language video embedded below includes English subtitles. A full English transcript is included below.
To be independent is something very important for human beings from the moment we begin to walk until we age. Fortunately there are organizations that help people stay longer in the place they call home.
At noon on a recent cold day in Oklahoma City, José de Loera Ruiz was on his way to have lunch with his friend Jerónimo Cazazos, who says, “For seven years friends like him have come to visit me.”
For approximately four years, José has been delivering lunch for Meals on Wheels to people who are homebound because.... Read More