Always United: Overcoming Isolation
Isolation and the feeling of loneliness can lead to serious physical and mental health issues, and as a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report explains, seniors and new Americans are particularly at risk. Through your support of United Way of Central New York, and our network of agencies, several funded programs are designed to help local seniors and new Americans avoid these conditions.
211 CNY (via Contact Community Services) is a free telephone-based community service offering TeleCare, a daily phone call program providing personal medication reminders and emotional support to people who are homebound or living alone.
InterFaith Works, through its Community Integration Program, Mental Health Support Program, and Senior Services Program, helped more than 350 new Americans and 120 seniors through in-home wellness checks in 2019.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic effectively ended in-person interaction offered by Interfaith Works, but they were able to adapt with a grant from the COVID-19 Community Support Fund.
InterFaith Works mental health counselors and chaplains, assisted by language line interpreters for clients with limited English, now make telephone calls to new American and senior clients. And reports from the InterFaith Works staff reaffirms the urgent need, noting that the current climate of COVID-19 has brought back war trauma for some new Americans (e.g., the need to stay indoors, limited food supply, daily government directives, etc.).
Beth Broadway, President/CEO, InterFaith Works said, “Many elders have a very difficult time using smartphone and computer technologies, and have become increasingly isolated,
scared, and depressed during this time of sheltering at home. New American families, many of whom work in low-income jobs, are particularly at risk as they struggle to work under challenging circumstances. Our clients have benefited greatly from having the support of staff and volunteers who have brought food, milk, soap, disinfectants, and, importantly, hope into their lives. We could not have done this without the help of our community partners like the United Way and the COVID-19 Community Support Fund. On behalf of our clients and staff, we thank you.”
By addressing these needs proactively, and reaching out to affected individuals now, we are reducing the risk of long-term harm and removing barriers so that people in our community can be safe, healthy, and well.
Working together – UNITED – we do more.