“Loneliness doubled among older adults in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new poll shows.” – Futurity
(Credit: Getty Images)
by Kara Gavin
“Staying close to home and avoiding crowded places can help older adults reduce their risk of COVID-19. But the new national poll suggests it comes with a cost, especially for those with health challenges.
“According to the findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, in June of this year, 56% of people over the age of 50 said they sometimes or often felt isolated from others—more than double the 27% who felt that way in a similar poll in 2018.
“Nearly half of those polled in June of this year also said they felt more isolated than they had just before the pandemic arrived in the United States, and a third said they felt they had less companionship than before.
“Social contacts suffered too, with 46% of older adults reporting in June that they infrequently interacted with friends, neighbors, or family outside their household—doing so once a week or less—compared with 28% who said this in 2018.”
Continue reading this article at Futurity.com.
“FILE – In this Monday, June 1, 2020 file photo, a woman looks through a window at a near-empty terminal at an airport in Atlanta. Anxiety and depression are rising among Americans compared with before the pandemic, research suggests. Half of those surveyed in a study released on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, reported at least some signs of depression.” – (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
by Lindsey Tanner
“Mental health therapists’ caseloads are bulging. Waiting lists for appointments are growing. And anxiety and depression are rising among Americans amid the coronavirus crisis, research suggests.
“In the latest study to suggest an uptick, half of U.S. adults surveyed reported at least some signs of depression, such as hopelessness, feeling like a failure or getting little pleasure from doing things. That’s double the rate from a different survey two years ago, Boston University researchers said Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open.
“The study did not ask about any diagnosis they might have received, and for many people, the problem is mostly angst rather than full-blown psychiatric illness. But experts say the feeling is genuine and deserving of professional help.”
Read this AP article in its entirety, click here.
“CATE exists to provide affordable and accessible COVID-19 education and testing to low income, vulnerable communities across sixteen counties in Pennsylvania to ensure equality in healthcare and the ability to stay safe, informed, and healthy.”
CATE will be visiting in each of the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Service Area 13 areas.
Admit it. There’s a bit of Calvin in each of us.
“Image: Bill Watterson/Andrews McMeel Publishing”
by Chuck Wendig
“When I think of Calvin, that glorious little menace, I first remember the depth of his imagination. His was an external life born explicitly of the internal: distant planets, bed monsters, mutant snowscapes, gravity-defying wagon rides, crass Transmogrifications, and of course, one tuna-loving tiger BFF.
“But the second thing I remember was exactly why the kid had such a big imagination to begin with: Calvin was looking for a way out. He was trying to escape.
“He didn’t like school, so he fled it as Spaceman Spiff. Bathtime, a nightmare for small children, saw Calvin turning into a tub shark or being attacked by a bubble-bath elemental. He escaped the corporeal form of a kid’s (arguably limited) body with the Transmogrifier, and most importantly of all, escaped loneliness by befriending a stuffed tiger who Calvin knew was actually real. A tiger who listened to him, who challenged him, and who ultimately loved him.
“Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? Calvin went to school, had a loving family, but even still, he felt alone. And his imagination gave him a way not to feel that anymore.
“In lockdown, we’re all Calvin.”
Seriously, click here to read this article at Polygon in its entirety.
Annelise Capossela for NPR
by April Fulton
“It can be tempting, as the pandemic wears on, to shut down — to escape into TV binging, social media and other inadequate ways of blocking out the stress and fears of illness or economic disaster.
“Dr. Maryland Pao, the clinical director of the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Research Program and a psychiatrist who regularly sees children with life-threatening illnesses, says she’s seen striking similarities between the ways her young patients deal with their diagnoses, and how lots of people are responding as we roll past month 5 of the pandemic.
“We all tend to default to two styles of coping, Pao explains: ‘You can be an active coper or you can be a passive coper.’
‘The active copers — the ones who pick up hobbies or take an interest in others and the world around them — generally have better mental health outcomes, Pao notes.”
Click here to read this article at NPR in its entirety.
The Joy of Animals – in and out of COVID-19. | REMINDER, too, register for the “Joy of Animals” Webinar on Monday, August 31.
“Above right, Lincoln Fuller: My wingman, Bear. Above left, Charlotte Wells of Pendleton, Ore.: Mr. Fish was rescued 8 years ago following the death of our beloved Mr. Felix (our 2nd rescue). Fish had been returned twice to the adoption agency, most likely because he behaves like a toddler, opening doors and drawers, dragging things out of the wastebasket, and biting. We’ve cured him of the biting, but the curiosity remains! If he could talk, his favorite word would be, “why?” (as in, why is the candy paper crunchy? why can’t I have my own bar of string cheese?)
These are some of the pets and pet comments that readers sent to Teresa Hanafin at the Boston Globe. Ms. Hanafin is the editor of The Boston Globe‘s newsletter, Fast Forward.
MEB: My rescue dog, Daniel, is a loving, devoted, funny, caring companion. He is the best thing that happened to me since my kids were born 51 and 48 years ago.
Alison, Eric, and Cole Zetterquist: Our endless devotion to Pikachu, our kitty who still loves us even though we named her after a big yellow mouse.
Emily Harting: Found on the sidewalk in August 2017, on a block of junkyards in Brooklyn; we’re coming up on our 3-year gotcha-versary. Lhasa/Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix (we had his DNA done but this is to point out not a big or strong dog, but a lap dog), so badly matted you could not find his face. So badly matted I didn’t know if it was male or female. I thought it was a cocker spaniel, that’s how large it was.
I wished to name him Fenway. My (sorry to say it) Yankees fan partner said absolutely not. BUT since the dog was small and clearly scrappy, that we could name him after Dustin Pedroia, hence Petey.
Love of my life. Greatest dog ever. He came with impeccable manners and so well-trained which is good b/c he had every right to be an [expletive!] and we probably would have kept him anyway.
Betsy G: Tarra (rhymes with CAR) or like the black stuff on the road! English black Lab – 12 years old. My empty nest child that still wants to come home!
Steffen W. Schmidt of Iowa: My pet dog Mad Donna got bitten by some bees, was crying and in pain. It made me nervous and freaked out. The Vet prescribed some medication. I take 4 a day and feel better.
Right now Mad Donna is chasing some chip monks by the composter. They are running away from her laughing but tripping over their Rosaries. They work for the California Highway Patrol (CHIP) as grief counselors.
Alice McCarthy: Stella, ❤️my bull terrier,❤️ makes me laugh out loud EVERY DAY! ‘Nuff said.
Karen Tarr: Our beloved cat, Hobo, passed away last summer at the age of 16. A life well-lived, but we were devastated. In June, my sister-in-law told me she knew someone who had taken a tiny, four-week-old kitten from its feral mom in an effort to control a feral colony of cats, and the kitten was in need of a home.
Little Rusty needed a lot of care in the beginning, but is now 13 weeks old and bouncing around our house like he owns the place. I’ve been working from home during COVID, but today I am back in the office for the first time since March and I am worrying about my kitten. I will still be a stay-at-home-kitten-mom most of the time! My vet said I got a “Corona Pet!”
Colleen Evans: I have 3 small dogs; 2 are rescues from Louisiana. Until last Friday, I also had 2 cats. I had to put my beautiful Coon cat Rosie to sleep. She was 18 and very frail. I also have a black former feral cat. Love all my fur babies. They keep us anchored and give unconditional love. 🐶🐯
Animals can be wonderful companions and take our minds off the stress, anxiety, trauma and uncertainty that abounds during this pandemic period of our lives. If you love animals and want to see how animals can provide soothing, calming and relaxing vibes for you — whether or not you are a pet owner, you’ll want to register for an hour and a half break pandemic to meet several Link partners as they introduce you to their special friends: animals who are making differences in the lives of so many.
When: Aug 31, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: The Joy of Animals – Return engagement
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
“Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.
“More than 19 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally, and at least 722,000 have died. In the U.S., nearly 5 million people have tested positive and more than 160,000 have died. While scientists are racing to find a cure for the virus, there’s a chance COVID-19 will never fully go away — with or without a vaccine.
“But that doesn’t mean everyone will have to self-isolate forever.
“Dr. Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch, told NPR’s Weekend Edition that one of the more likely scenarios is that the spread of COVID-19 will eventually be slowed as a result of herd immunity. He said he’d be surprised ‘if we’re still wearing masks and six feet distancing in two or three years,’ and that in time, the virus could become no more serious than the common cold.”
Read this article in its entirety at WITF — CLICK HERE.
“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.”
by Bruce Horowitz
“Imagine this scenario, perhaps a year or two in the future: An effective COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available and the world is moving forward. Life, however, will likely never be the same — particularly for people over 60.
That is the conclusion of geriatric medical doctors, aging experts, futurists and industry specialists. Experts say that in the aftermath of the pandemic, everything will change, from the way older folks receive health care to how they travel and shop. Also overturned: their work life and relationships with one another.
“’In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,’ said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. ‘We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.’
“Older adults are uniquely vulnerable because their immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, making it so much harder for them to battle not just COVID-19 but all infectious diseases. They are also more likely to suffer other health conditions, like heart and respiratory diseases, that make it tougher to fight or recover from illness. So it’s no surprise that even in the future, when a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and widely used — most seniors will be taking additional precautions.”