The drive we feel to be with those we care about during the holiday season is very real and can be quite strong. However, with the current COVID-19 infection rates trending in the wrong direction, this drive to be with others can quickly become dangerous. For those who live with or care for older adults, the stakes can be even higher. The Centers for Disease Control stated that older adults are among those that should not travel at all over the holidays due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure. This also includes having family members travel to the older adult as well.
Aging service providers across our region have been working hard to develop services to help fill this void. Despite advances in virtual programming and opportunities to engage in new social opportunities and programs, studies have shown that the numbers of older adults feeling the effects of social isolation and loneliness have nearly doubled during the pandemic. The most important thing we can do for individuals who feel isolated is to recognize the severe effects of social isolation and find solutions that work for the individual. If you need assistance doing this, please reach out to Centralina Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-508-5777 and we can help connect you to programs and services that can help.
Written by: Julia Burrowes