As the threat of the Coronavirus looms, there is another health threat especially for our older loves ones. The AARP says it is loneliness and you can make a difference.
People are working to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected.
"We need to be connected to each other now, perhaps, more than ever before,” said AARP Foundation President, Lisa Marsh Ryerson.
Now, more than ever, we should be checking in on some of the most vulnerable, older adults.
“You know, social isolation, Sheli, among older adults is already a big risk and has been on the rise over time, in Florida alone there are more than 2 million adults alone at risk right now and that’s before the pandemic,” said Ryerson.
Then, you layer on the stress from the Coronavirus. The AARP said the damage to their health from loneliness can be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, so what can you do?
The AARP, the nation's largest nonprofit organization for Americans 50 and older, said it could be a phone call, Facetime, video chat, and even a handwritten letter.
Whether it’s a picnic on your front porch like Sheli’s family or a virtual one, be sure to find out if older adults in your lives need help picking up groceries or prescriptions.
In fact, about a dozen Miami Police officers recently went grocery shopping for elderly residents of Tuscany Cove in Liberty City. Just in Broward County, there are more than 250,000 seniors. 87,000 of them live alone, according to the county.
It’s why the county set up a touchline, 211 Broward offers daily calls for anyone who needs someone to check in on them.
Ryerson said “Know that we’re thinking of you and that your loved ones and family members are and take the first step if you are.”
So, check in because their health depends on it all while boosting your own health. The AARP encourages seniors to ask for help. For Broward residents, you can learn more about the 211 Broward’s Senior Touchline program by visiting www.211-broward.org.