How are you doing? It’s a question we ask each other. It’s a question we need to ask ourselves. How am I doing? Fine. Fine? Fine-ish? In truth, not so fine. We are in a global battle against a virulent virus.
We’ve correctly “locked down” nursing homes, hunkered in at home. The first front of the battle is preventing infection and caring for those infected. The second front is addressing the unintended consequence of physical isolation… social isolation.
Last month, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine completed a yearlong study of the medical, mental health, and physical health risks of social isolation and loneliness for older adults. The findings were unequivocal. Social isolation and loneliness among older adults is associated with significantly higher rates of cognitive decline, depression, chronic diseases, and death.
We can take control of this day by going on the offensive against social isolation. Today, instigate a video call. Today, write a letter. Be creative. The only adults who have first hand experience from the great depression are older adults. We need their guidance on how best to address the new financial landscape. We need their guidance on resilience. They need connection... We all do.