Across the state, local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) are working together to promote mental health resources and programs for seniors through the “Together Apart: Holidays at Heart” campaign. While many older adults choose to stay safer at home and isolate themselves to prevent exposure to the coronavirus, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas (AAAPP), in partnership with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA), wants to ensure that no senior feels alone during the holiday season.
“AAAPP provides seniors with many services all year long, but the upcoming holidays and continuing rise of COVID-19 cases makes it even more important to connect with those who need us most,” said Executive Director Ann Marie Winter, in an AAAPP news release.
“We must do our part as a community to promote the mental health of our most vulnerable seniors by engaging with them in the safest ways possible,” said Winter.
Locally, AAAPP is offering its Silver Santas program, which provides holiday gifts to 600 local area seniors who do not otherwise have any family to celebrate the holidays with. More information about the program can be found online at BLSpinellas.org/silver-santas.
“This year has presented numerous challenges for everyone, but we know Florida’s older population has been disproportionately affected,” said DOEA Secretary Richard Prudom. “We want to make sure the holidays remain a time of joy and connection for our seniors by reminding them that even though they might be apart from loved ones, there are many ways to reach out and stay connected.”
For information about “Together Apart: Holidays at Heart,” visit HolidaysAtHeart.org.
To learn more about AAAPP, visit AgingCareFL.org.
If you or a loved one are living with feelings of depression and loneliness this holiday season, please call the Elder Helpline at 800-963-5337.
Published December 02, 2020