Combatting Social Isolation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic, self-quarantining has become one of the many tactics used in combating the COVID-19 virus. While it has become the most effective in protecting oneself from transmitting the disease it has left those practicing with negative outcomes. The negative effects of self-isolation, and social distancing, has increased rates of loneliness by 30 percent, with emotional distress tripling according to Health Affairs. This is especially true for older and disabled adults who are at a higher risk of transmission. While COVID-19 vaccines have begun to be administered and the possible ending of the pandemic is on the horizon, for some breaking out of self-isolation post quarantine can be a difficult task.
For those who are still not ready to leave the home, or even wish to continue to stay home through post quarantine Hearts and Hands is able to provide a solution. Older adults can request errand services and grocery delivery through the organization. This aids older adults who still wish to practice quarantining or simply have a harder time leaving their home by being able to have their everyday needs met.
For those who are unable to drive or have no source of transportation, not being able to leave the house to do something as simple as run errands can give one the overwhelmed feeling of be stuck in their home. Hearts and Hands has traditionally addressed social isolation through driver transportation provided by volunteers. With finding modes of transportation that feeling of being “stuck” can be alleviated. Hearts and Hands is here to help by providing transportation for adults 60 years of age or older, and for individuals with disabilities, within Erie and Niagara County. Through this free volunteer-based service, Hearts and Hands can help your loved one regain their quality of life and sense of freedom.
For those who do not need transportation services, loneliness can often come from not having social interaction for periods of time. Something as simple as a phone call reaching out to friends and family could enhance one’s well-being. One should try to reach out to familiar face at least once a day to prevent the onset effects of quarantining and self-isolation.
Hearts and Hands is aware that for some it is not possible to reach out to a family member or friend every day and is able to provide social connection through their phone and zoom pal programs. They match older adults with available volunteers who will take the time to have meaningful conversation. Thus, helping combat social isolation.
Through Hearts and Hands older adults are not the only ones who can benefit from the services provided. While the volunteer may be helping with errands and transportation, they too can take this time to combat social isolation, by meaningful connection with the individuals they serve.
Combating social-isolation can be hard task especially during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearts and Hands is here to help. By reaching out we can help you, or your loved one, feel more connected through transportation, friendly visits, and phone pals. We hope these simple steps can help those feeling confined to gain a sense of freedom and connection again.
Want to make a difference and help a neighbor in need? Call our office at (716) 406-8311 or apply on our website, www.hnhcares.org. Would your loved one benefit from transportation or social connection services? Call (716) 406-8311.
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