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Older Adults Feeling Scared and Lonely During Pandemic


Older adults are at the highest risk for complications, including death, from Covid-19.

So, extra precautions are in place to protect this age group.
Egyptian Area Agency on Aging director Becky Salazar says the biggest concern right now is making sure they have food. In fact, home delivered meals have increased during the pandemic.

"I know Carbondale for instance serves over 100 per day for pickup. Then, trying to make sure that when they're picking up, there are not too many, getting too close and keeping that social distancing as people are coming for pickup."

Salazar says funding from the Family CARES Act is helping her agency and others provide food.

"I know Shawnee Alliance has gotten groceries for a lot of seniors or some shelf-stable food. I think they delivered probably 500 last week."

She says the emergency funds are also helping cover other expenses for seniors, such as medication and utility bills.

Salazar says older adults are trying to avoid contact with others, even with meal deliveries or delaying pest control services.

"They're just really not wanting anybody near them just out of fear and health precautions."

Salazar says that extends to in-home caregivers as well.

"A lot of them have asked that the person they normally hire not come for a while and that they'll utilize a family member. I think the other agencies are noticing that as well."

Salazar says older adults are feeling lonelier than usual as they shelter at home. She says senior centers have a social isolation program where people call to check on existing clients and they're accepting new seniors in need of contact.

As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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