During the past year, Generations, Inc./Innovations Ministries distributed more than 1,500 bags of fruits and vegetables at three senior facilities in Lindenwold, New Jersey. However, providing access to fresh produce was not the only “Just For You” grant strategy. Efforts also encompassed reducing social isolation among seniors. With the increasing number of older adults in our society, the need for effective interventions to decrease social isolation is vital to the health and well-being of our growing senior population.
After a one-year trial period at Harvest House Senior Apartments, on August 27 Generations, Inc./Innovations Ministries launched the three pilot programs at Linden Lake and Lindenwold Towers Senior Apartments. Initiatives include bi-weekly Comfort Calls (robocalls), bi-monthly conference calls and Letters of Love, all of which are designed to reduce social isolation and promote social connection.
Comfort Calls (robocalls) provide a means to keep seniors connected and offers greetings of encouragement. Conference call workshops are a fun and interactive educational forum that provides helpful tips on a variety of health and nutrition topics, and social issues. Our community partners deliver workshop content. Topics covered included: Simplifying Your Meds, Active & Strong: Tips for Fitting in Fitness, Getting a Good Night’s Sleep, Vaccinate Don’t Hesitate, and A Healthy Heart. Working in partnership with youth groups, the Letters of Love campaign fosters connectedness and bridges the generational gap between older adults and youth. Cards and letters sent from youth are a means to reduce social isolation that can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear of others and negative self-esteem.
Humans were created for social connectedness. Unfortunately, many older adults are at risk of experiencing social isolation. Social health is equally important as physical and mental health. The benefits of social connection are well documented. Social connectedness is a vital part of maintaining one’s physical and mental health. Generations, Inc./Innovations Ministries social isolation strategies serve to engage seniors, build social connectedness, and promote successful aging in our older adult population. Our heartfelt desire is to continue development of creative solutions to combat social isolation and help to keep our seniors socially connected.
About the Grantee
Generations, Inc., a community development corporation, provides comprehensive, coordinated services to meet the needs of families and individuals, providing full access to necessary services for all ages. Innovations Ministries, a non-profit entity within Generations, promotes a proactive approach to personal development, lifestyle management and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.