Maintaining social connections and staying mentally and physically active is key to reducing social isolation and loneliness among older adults, particularly now during the COVID-19 national health crisis.
There are many opportunities for older adults and caregivers to remain engaged and connected to their family, friends and community with and without technology during the pandemic. Here are a few suggestions all of us might consider doing during this time:
• Reach out. Try to call a family member or friend every day, write them a note or send a card.
• Stay active, mentally and physically. Move more and sit less. Engage in physical activity such as a walk or online group exercise classes.
• Flex your brain. Draw a sketch, write a poem or short story, or start journaling.
• Create connections using technology. Use online tools to connect with friends and family. Attend virtual events and concerts or tour museums from home. Read a book online.
• Volunteer and share your skills from home. Develop a virtual mentoring relationship with a student through a local college or connect with your local Area Agency on Aging to find opportunities to help others.
Through its website, www.eldercare.acl.gov, and national Call Center at 1-(800)-677-1116, the Eldercare Locator can inform and connect older adults and caregivers to local programs and services that provide a variety of ways to stay connected to others in their communities to reduce social isolation and loneliness.