Older Adults & Social Isolation
Many of us have never experienced long stretches of social isolation prior to COVID-19. COVID-19 presents a time for us to reflect on the fact that for many of our older adults social isolation is a constant reality. Those with limited income face inconceivable challenges on a daily basis. A simple shopping trip often requires making a reservation with public transportation, exact change for the bus trip, and then hours of waiting to be picked up and brought back home. For most of us, we simply get in our cars, freely walk into the store, pick up our groceries and return home. This is not the case for our limited income seniors. Ordering groceries online takes weeks, if you can get a time slot.
Living in the world of COVID-19 has made things even more difficult for our older adults. Not wanting to expose their loved ones to COVID-19, family members are staying away. Older adults spend many hours alone on a daily basis. Far too many people have no idea how much our seniors look forward to a visit, or that personal escort to the store. Now with COVID-19, they are even further isolated. They rarely see anyone or go anywhere. Long periods of social isolation can lead to physical heath issues, depression and even death.
Many older adults were involuntary participants of social isolation prior to COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has broadened their isolation. I encourage everyone to routinely check on the older adults you know (family members, friends, and neighbors). Offer to run an errand for them. A call or a card can make all the difference in the world to someone living in social isolation.
As the Property Manager of Harvest House Senior Apartments in Lindenwold, New Jersey, and a community partner with Innovations Ministries (Generations, Inc.), I’m most appreciative of the work they are doing to address the issue of social isolation among older adults. Working with older adults at Harvest House Apartments has made me even more sensitive to the needs of my residents and social isolation. In the future I hope to bring even more programs to Harvest House like the work being done by Innovations Ministries.
Adrienne Thompson/Property Manager, Harvest House Senior Apartments
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.