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.
“Brooke and Bryan Smith pause for a snapshot at a fundraising event.” (Provided photo)
by Jeff Falk
“Marriage has been described romantically as ‘two hearts beating as one.’ And while that phrase certainly applies to Brooke and Bryan Smith, perhaps an even better way to describe their union might be ‘two hearts caring as one.’
“In the world of local service and community impact, the Smiths are a power couple.
“Brooke is the chief executive officer of United Way of Lebanon County. Her husband Bryan is the executive director of Lebanon County Christian Ministries.
“LCCM and the United Way are two of the highest-profile, most integral, and most diverse nonprofits in the county.
“The Smiths have been married for ten years, but each has only been in their respective roles for relatively short periods of time. While there are some unavoidable cross-over aspects to their personal and professional lives, the Smiths diligently guard against anything that can be construed as conflicts of interest.”
Click here to continue reading this story in its entirety at LebTown.
NOTE: Both Brooke’s and Bryan’s agencies are partner agencies with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Lebanon County partner’s network.
“The formula for what makes a community livable isn’t particularly complex. For the most part, the features and needs are fairly simple.
“But living in a place that, say, requires having a car for every errand or outing can be a difficult place to live if you don’t have a car or can’t drive.
“Living in a place without access to outdoor spaces, good schools and healthy food isn’t very livable, especially for young families.
“Living in a community that isn’t safe, or offers few activities, can be isolating for people regardless of age.
“On the other hand, a community that includes all of the features pictured in our “In a Livable Community” handout can be great — for people of all ages!”
AND people with a disability!
“Members of the LGBTQ community and their allies have created safe places where they can feel comfortable, welcome, and free to be themselves, both in public areas and in the privacy of their own homes. The most LGBTQIAPK-friendly places in the United States have several things in common, many of which you can duplicate in your neighborhood.
“No matter your sexuality or gender, you can create a more LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood by duplicating some of these same features. Through simple demonstrations of solidarity, welcoming, and active support of LGBTQIAPK businesses and services, you and your neighbors can make it known that you support them and are invested in their happiness.
Paint the Town
“One of the easiest ways to express your support is to incorporate LGBTQ symbols and traditions into your neighborhood. From simple design elements on your property to neighborhood-wide events, these public displays of inclusion are a must for any LGBTQ-friendly block:”
You can read this article in its entirety, click here.
We often get content submissions from lots of local, regional and national sources, the above article comes from a submission from David Dixon of NeighborhoodWeek.org
In an email, he writes: I hope these encourage your community members to lend a hand however they can. No act is too small for a person, animal, or even an organization in need, and volunteering is such a meaningful way to make a difference.”
Thank you, David.
Here is more from his email:
“One of our residents’ favorite activities during our annual neighborhood week is to find new ways to improve our community. While most of us volunteer in our free time at least a few times a month, we especially look forward to our Neighborhood Week when we all join forces to make a difference together.”
He continues by saying these articles “I hope will inspire Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Link site visitors to get active on behalf of their fellow man (and pets in need!). These offer some great ideas (I shared them recently in our neighborhood newsletter to get the juices flowing for our next neighborhood community improvement project):
by Diane Winston
“Tinseled trees and snowy landscapes are not the only signs of the upcoming holiday season. Red kettles, staffed by men and women in street clothes, Santa suits and Salvation Army uniforms also telegraph Christmastime.
“The Army is among America’s top-grossing charities. In 2015, its 25,000 bell-ringers helped raise an all-time high of US$149.6 million. That was part of the year’s almost $3 billion revenue from bequests, grants, sales, in-kind donations and investments as well as direct contributions.
“William Booth, an English evangelist, founded the Salvation Army in 1878 as a religious outreach to London’s poor. How a British evangelical church became an American icon is an ongoing interest of mine.
Continue reading this article at The Conversation, click here.
“Identifying the Unique Challenges of Solo Agers | The Elder Orphan Facebook group finds that many without families lack support” – next avenue
Credit: Adobe Stock
by Carol Marak
“Over 30 years ago, researchers and geriatricians identified an ‘elder orphan’ (sometimes called a ‘solo ager’) as a person aging alone with little support. But when my Elder Orphan Facebook group targeting this population launched over 2 1/2 years ago, little was known about them. Even then, few realized that the hardships faced by older people with no nearby family members could be any different from those of others aging at home.
“Health care professionals and companies tend to lump the older population into four segments: ages 55 to 64, 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older. It’s assumed that people in these age brackets deal with, or eventually could deal with, similar concerns relating to health, housing, transportation, caregiving and safety. But those concerns are further magnified for those who do not have a support system, and that number may be higher than you imagine. For example, in Dallas, where I live, 30 percent of people 65 and older live alone.
“Thankfully, through the dedicated service of social workers, gerontologists and geriatricians, the unique challenges of the solo ager have been identified.”
The Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line is the only accredited crisis line in the country for people aged 60 years and older, and adults living with disabilities. We also make on-going outreach calls to lonely older adults.
To make a referral right now, please fill out the Friendship Line Intake Form.
Berks County Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt recently “unveiled a magnet that will be made available to county residents in an effort to make them aware of when it’s appropriate to call 911 and when they should dial 211.”
Read these articles, too, for more information.
Click here to download the two page file as a .pdf.