Keeping Seniors Informed
The COVID-19 pandemic presented a number of challenges to Innovations Ministries. With the reduction in operations of many organizations, it became difficult to have brochures mailed to us. Now more than ever, older adults need to stay informed when it comes to their health.
In the early days of the pandemic, many seniors were unable to visit their health care providers due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even with the implementation of telemedicine, many seniors lacked access to, or did not know how to use/were fearful of the technology. It is important for seniors to stay socially engaged to prevent poor health outcomes associated with social isolation.
One of my passions is to keep people abreast of health information. Innovations Ministries’ “Just for You” senior program provided the opportunity to keep our seniors informed with the distribution of relevant health, nutrition, and well-being information along with their produce deliveries each month. Initially, our focus was to educate seniors regarding the increased risk of COVID-19 with age and chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart, lung, or kidney disease. We provided handouts on how to avoid exposure, the importance of staying home, mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, and cleaning/disinfecting household surfaces.
It was important for me to obtain information from reputable sources to dispel misinformation regarding COVID-19. I was able to order free publications online or download information from resources such as the National Institute on Aging (NIA) that leads the federal government in conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older adults. Eventually, we were able to provide information on social issues like elder abuse, loneliness, and social isolation. As a means to help relieve stress and have some fun, we distributed a fifteen-page coloring book along with crayons to promote immunity boosting tips and healthy habits like eating fruits and vegetables, handwashing, getting sufficient sleep, and learning something new every day.
I believe good health does not start in the doctor’s office; it begins at home. Innovations Ministries’ goal is to remove barriers to healthy food and health information. We strive to make it easier for seniors to stay informed and focus on their health goals. I am grateful for the opportunity to play a role in making this happen.
Tina Odim, RN
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.