The COVID-19 pandemic is piling on one of the largest and most vulnerable segments of the community, senior citizens, who have been forced to deal with an added emotional burden of loneliness.
But a company in South Florida is providing companionship for senior citizens inside their homes.
“Loneliness, as some research has said, is as bad as smoking cigarettes every day,” said Kevin Sobolewski with SYNERGY HomeCare. "Some of these people have not really had contact with anybody since March so our service allows us to go in and spend some time with them. The companionship is extremely important to these people."
Sobolewski has dubbed his aides "The Loneliness Squad." They go into clients' homes and do whatever they can to help make them comfortable.
Aides sometimes prepare meals for clients and also do some odds and ends around the house. But their main objective is to provide companionship.
“Especially if their family lives away, they’re not getting that love that they need, so to have someone that can sit with them and just talk about whatever, is extremely important,” said Sobolewski.
With COVID numbers decreasing, family caretakers like sons and daughters are now headed back to work and can no longer be by their elderly relative’s side.
Sobolewski said that’s exactly the situation where his "Squad" can step in. The bond between aide and client, he said, is unique.
“Especially for some of the ones we may have had with the client for over a year, 24/7, they absolutely treat those clients as their own family," he said.