While looking forward to writing about the pandemic being over, obviously it will be a while yet. Throughout status reports that we have plateaued, or are in another surge, a couple things have remained consistent.

• People in our communities continue to step up and step in to help one another.

• Our communities continue to find creative ways to keep on keepin’ on.

Social media, with all its craziness, opinionated rhetoric and kitten pics, has played a huge part in enabling us to stay connected and this has become much more obvious during our current situation.

It would be interesting to see how much computer usage has increased in the public arena since March-April of this year. Many elders who may have had only minimal online time have become more actively electronically engaged.

Zoom and/or Skype “gatherings” have in many instances replaced face-to-face community meetings for both professional and social events, be they trainings, staffings, support groups or any other excuse to reach out to others.

An opportunity we recently heard about is Well Connected — formerly Senior Center Without Walls) — and it’s just what it sounds like: “A Telephone Community for Seniors.” Their information states there are over 50 weekly activities, including the ever-popular Bingo!

Other activities offered include Brain Aerobics, support groups, health discussions, a book group, workshops and so on. And it’s free to anyone over 60.

After you call, you can register for selected groups by telephone or email — and no charge is added to your phone bill.

For more information, call 1-877-797-7299 and you can request a schedule for the activities — every day of the year has something available. You can also get more information by going to www.covia.org/services/well-connected.

Another resource we’re exploring is a volunteer telephonic contact opportunity. For those familiar with “Friendly Visitor” type programs, it would be similar. Volunteers would be available to reach out to elders who may be homebound and/or without family in the area. Basically, just a friendly “How are things going?” type contact.

And if you have information on something of this nature already in place, please let us know so we can help get the word out.

You may live alone, but you don’t have to be alone.

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 360-642-3634

or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 360-942-2177

or 888-571-6557

www.o3a.org

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