With COVID-19 continuing to affect the daily lives of everyone across the State of Connecticut and the nation, it is important to stay as connected as possible to our communities and those in need. However, this is not simple or easy for many older adults.
The Age Well CT team attended a recent virtual Town Hall Meeting hosted by the CT Coalition on Aging (CCOA) which asked older adults in Connecticut directly about their experiences during this pandemic with the goal to get new insights and perspectives from individuals ages 60 and above.
The findings from speaking with older adults from across Connecticut were as follows:
“What were your feelings during the isolation period?”
Individuals stated that COVID-19 has made social isolation especially challenging for those older adults who are single. Not being able to hug or see loved ones for months at a time has been difficult, especially for those who have family members in other states. Some folks know of neighbors or friends who have decided to relocate permanently to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Family has become more important during times like these.
Many older adults don’t have smartphones, therefore there needs to be better communication in the papers, on local news channels, and through phone calls to residents. The cost of obtaining a smartphone is also expensive for older adults who need to pay for food, medication, and essentials. When the library and senior centers closed, it left out those who are not connected.
For older adults who are still working, it has been a big adjustment to work from home and although stressful, it has also created confidence in their new skills.
“What has helped you through this pandemic?”
Many older adults have been able to stay connected to their families and friends through phone calls, which was the most common answer. Other ways folks are passing the time is through reading books, staying active on Facebook, and joining digital webinars.
“How did you get your needs met?”
Older adults have primarily relied on family and delivery services to get essentials such as groceries and other household goods. Some have also relied on friends, neighbors, or paid for help.
Thank you to the CT Coalition on Aging for hosting this Town Hall and allowing the voices of many older adults across Connecticut to be heard. Although there is more work to do, we hope this insight will help more individuals get connected and stay safe. For more information on the CT Coalition on Aging, go to: www.coalitionagingct.org.
Want to stay connected?
Take a look at the many virtual events provided by our area Senior Centers. Visit Events Calendar.