We can all remember an incredible story about “the good ole days” from an older family member, neighbor, friend, or even that guy at the diner! Heck, you may have even started sharing those recollections. The month of May has been declared by President Trump as Older Americans Month. Throughout the month, citizens from around the U.S. are encouraged to celebrate the contributions that older adults make to all of our communities. Whether it’s through their time, involvement, or talents, we all benefit from the wisdom and experiences the older generations share with neighbors, family, friends, and peers. While this month we ask you to recognize the differences made by older Americans, this period is also an opportunity for everyone to make a difference in the lives of the elderly.
Locally, Senior Care Partners PACE has adapted its organization to support the medical and social needs of older community members. Traditionally, Senior Care Partners has provided Medicare- and Medicaid-covered services as well as community-based care and support. With the current pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders, the organization has innovated by creating a designated in-facility unit with 24-hour care for participants with COVID-19 and integrated technology for community activities, explained Laura Ferrara, chief executive officer of Senior Care Partners PACE. “Our team of professionals supports our participants every day, physically and emotionally as well as medically,” said Laura. “It’s really very personal, and it’s very relational and as you would expect in this time of social distancing. The realness of social isolation comes back to these individuals who we serve.”
During this month and throughout social distancing, Laura encourages everyone to support older Americans during this period of social distancing through phone calls, check-ins, dinners, or other friendly methods. Laura explained, “Social isolation for an older adult is so detrimental to their… Not just their psycho-social but their medical well-being. They often show symptoms of social isolation through symptoms of physical illness because of the impact that that social isolation has on them.”