Senior Friendship Centers helping seniors fight loneliness during the pandemic

Senior Friendship Centers helping seniors fight loneliness during the pandemic
The Senior Friendship Center offers opportunities for social interaction both virtually and at their facility. (Source: wwsb)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -According to health experts, isolation is as damaging to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

As social distancing measures continue, isolation is particularly impacting the senior populations. That loneliness can impact the seniors eating habits, how they take care of themselves, and even lead them into depression.

The Senior Friendship Center is a good place where seniors along the Suncoast can get the social interaction they need. For those who do not want to leave their house, they offer a variety of zoom classes where seniors can interact with others. The center also has been slowly opening back up. Right now they have reduced hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some popular classes are now offered in person at the facility like their balance movement class. The Senior Friendship Center’s Center Manager, April Moschini, said they are working to teach seniors how to get back to daily life during this difficult time.

”It’s time to start trying to learn how to social distance. So that’s what we’ve been doing when people come to the center, we’ve just been teaching them how to sit six feet apart, have a mask on, and still hold conversations. How to drink your coffee with a mask and then put your mask back up. We’re just sort of learning how to be this way because this could be our new norm for several more months or longer,” Moschini said.

Before entering the Senior Friendship Center, a senior will have their temperature taken. People are also required to wear masks and sign a health affidavit which ask questions such as if the person has been exposed to COVID-19 and if they have recently traveled. If a person answers yes then they will not be allowed into the facility.

More information about the classes offered to seniors can be found here.

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