Loneliness and isolation | here are two articles that let us know that every day is not “sunshine and penguins” but there are ways to adjust.
This New York Times article, “How to Deal With Life in Long-Term Isolation” offers examples of people who have managed in scenarios of being alone or being isolated.
74 year-old Diane Evans has learned, “If adverse situations beat you down, there wouldn’t be an African American in this country. You do what you have to do to survive.” In this NPR article, “There’s No Stopping These Seniors; Even A Pandemic Can’t Bring Them Down”, there are stories of remarkable resilience many older persons are showing in the pandemic.
Know a person age 60 and over or a person with a disability who wants to borrow an iPad, a computer & more? | Read this.
TechOWL can assist with an iPad, computer, and more for older adults and people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. Please see the above flyer and this listing of TechOWL’s Assistive Technology Resource Centers and contact list. If you know of anyone that can benefit from this technology, please refer them to the appropriate TechOwl Resource Center from the attached contact list.
“Over the next decade, the number of elderly homeless Americans is projected to triple — and that was before Covid-19 hit. In Phoenix, the crisis has already arrived.”
“Credit … Eduardo L. Rivera for The New York Times”
“Miles Oliver’s troubles began in April, when he had to choose between making his monthly car payment and paying his rent. He chose the car, based on a logical calculation: Without a car, he couldn’t drive to work, meaning no money for rent regardless. Oliver came to Arizona from Chicago more than 30 years ago as an Army recruit at Fort Huachuca, the storied military post wedged into shrublands in the southeastern part of the state, just a 15-mile hike from the Mexico border. He grew to love Arizona — the dry air, the seemingly endless sunshine, the sense of possibility for someone looking for a new start. He moved to Phoenix and built a life for himself there. Now it was all falling apart.
“His car, a navy blue 2007 Ford Fusion for which he paid $230 a month, was his lifeline. It took him to whatever day jobs he cobbled together each week, most of them in construction, and allowed him to bring in extra cash on weekends delivering pizza for Papa John’s. February was slow, and March was slower, so when his $830 April rent came due, Oliver was short. The apartment complex’s office had closed because of the pandemic, and he had no idea how to reach the manager to ask for extra time. What he received, by mail, was an ultimatum: Pay up or go to court.”
Read this article at The New York Times in its entirety, click here.
“To explore how mobile technology can be employed to enhance the lives of older adults, the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine commissioned 6 papers, which were presented at a workshop held on December 11 and 12, 2019. These papers review research on mobile technologies and aging, and highlight promising avenues for further research.”
The following message is sent on behalf of Robert Torres, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
The results of the 2020 State Plan on Aging survey listed available and affordable housing as one of the critical factors in ensuring age-friendly communities over the next five years. Therefore, we are pleased to share the attached invitation and encourage your participation in the second session of the LGBTQ+ Housing Webinar Series. This session is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM and will cover affordable housing options and supportive services offered locally. We hope you can attend.
“We miss too much when we treat all seniors as helpless.” (Unsplash/@unitednations/Lélie Lesage)”
by Sally Chivers
“‘Unprecedented’ might be the word of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for many, especially older adults, life has taken many abrupt turns. Maybe it’s their first pandemic, but it’s not the first time they’ve pivoted without calling it that and created a new normal.
“Yet, we persist in treating people over 70 as an undifferentiated blob of neediness and vulnerability. When we do, we once again miss what older adults contribute.
“As an aging studies scholar, my focus is on the portrayal and treatment of older adults in literature, film and popular culture. During COVID-19, dire fictional portraits of nursing homes as places to avoid and escape appear to be coming alive. We hear a lot about them, but less attention lands on older adults living and making do at home. Public health issues reminders to check on what they call “elderly neighbours.” Those reminders ignore what older people in and out of nursing homes offer to the rest of us.”
“Art Ballard loads a 25-pound plate onto the leg press. ‘At my age, the best thing you can do is find a routine.'” (Heidi de Marco/KHN)
by Heidi De Marco
“MONROVIA, Calif. — Most mornings, like clockwork, you could find Art Ballard pumping iron.
“At least five days a week, he drove to Foothill Gym, where he beat on the punching bag, rode a stationary bike and worked his abs. After he joined the gym five years ago, he dropped 20 pounds, improved his balance and made friends.
“At 91, he’s still spry and doesn’t take any medication other than an occasional Tylenol for aches and pains.
“’Doctors love me,’ he said.
“But when California enacted a statewide stay-at-home order in mid-March, his near-daily physical exercise and social interactions abruptly ended.”
Keep reading this inspiring article, click here.
(Hannah Norman / KHN Illustration)
by Judith Graham
“As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.
“This ‘stay at home awhile longer’ advice recognizes that older adults are more likely to become critically ill and die if infected with the virus. At highest risk are seniors with underlying medical conditions such as heart, lung or autoimmune diseases.
“Yet after two months at home, many want to go out into the world again. It is discouraging for them to see people of other ages resume activities. They feel excluded. Still, they want to be safe.”
“Losing Touch: Another Drawback of the COVID-19 Pandemic” – The Scientist
“Affectionate touches tap into the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, reducing the release of stress hormones, bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves linked with relaxation.”
by Ashley Yeager | in The Scientist
“It had been seven weeks since I’d touched another human being. Arms outstretched, I walked quickly toward my dad, craving his embrace. In the instant before we touched, we paused, our minds probably running quick, last-minute calculations on the risk of physical contact. But, after turning our faces away from each other and awkwardly shuffling closer, we finally connected. Wrapped in my dad’s bear hug, I momentarily forgot we were in the midst of the worst global crisis I have ever experienced.
“’Touch is the most powerful safety signal of togetherness,’ says Steve Cole, a psychiatrist and biobehavioral scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.”
“Senior centers, nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country have launched pen-pal programs to help older adults battle social isolation created by the coronavirus.”
by Kate Elizabeth Queram
“As the coronavirus spread toward New Hampshire and communities began advising residents to isolate at home, Rich Vanderweit began brainstorming.
Vanderweit, an activity aide at Sullivan County Health Care in Unity, N.H., was concerned about the effects that social isolation would have on the nursing and rehab facility’s 135 residents. It’s a community-driven home, he said, where visitors come to see one person and end up chatting at length with a dozen others—so when the facility went on lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, he worried that the seniors would feel abandoned.
“’And the idea just came to me—a pen-pal program,’ he said.”