Helping older adults reconnect in an increasingly isolated world
“What if depression is, in fact, a form of grief—for our own lives not being as they should? What if it is a form of grief for the connections we have lost, yet still need?”
― Johann Hari, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions
There’s nothing like losing something to help you understand how much you need it.
I’m thinking of those seemingly casual social interactions the pandemic took from us - the everyday simple connections with others you meet at work, at the gym, in school, or at planned social events.
You know the ones. The quick hellos and ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ comments given with a smile before you move on to whatever it was you were trying to get done.
They didn’t always feel meaningful -- until they were gone.
For many of us, the world is opening up again and we’re once again running into people to greet, reconnect, and continue on our separate ways. And, if our hellos are a little more eager, more sincere and welcoming, who’s to know?
But there are some groups, particularly the elderly, the homebound, and seniors who live alone, who are not yet benefiting from the emotional support that comes from feeling connected to a wider social world. They’re still struggling with feelings of disconnection and isolation.
These are the folks that Coastline Elderly is looking to help in its campaign to “Bridge the Digital Divide."
The home care nonprofit is looking for help from the community to help connect seniors to a broader world using technology. By providing them with computers and education on using them, they can help bridge some of the isolation that has been so devastating for some, teach new skills, and help them stay connected.
Interestingly, Coastline says that since the pandemic they’ve heard from older adults that they want to learn more about technology, opening the door for this to succeed. Now, they’re hoping to meet that need.
Purchased technology will allow Coastline to teach computer basics to older adults; host online classes for the community; install speakers to allow everyone to hear presentations; offer case management services remotely; and more.
If you can help, check out Coastline’s request for donations to purchase monitors and related equipment for this program here.