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3 ways to help older adults in your community
Do you know an older person who could use a little pandemic support? If you want to make a difference in your community right now, here are three ways to help from a safe distance:
1. Call and offer to chat. Older adults have been especially isolated during the pandemic. Having someone to talk to can help them feel less alone. And science backs that up. A study in the journal JAMA found that getting regular phone calls from a teen or young adult seemed to ease loneliness, anxiety and even depression among homebound, mostly older adults. Not sure how to start? Just say something like, "I wondered how you were doing with everything that's been going on."
2. Share the facts. Some people—even older adults who are very vulnerable to severe COVID-19—are still hesitant to get a shot. You can help counter any fears by sharing a few facts from reliable sources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It may help older adults feel better to know:
- All the vaccines OK'd so far have excellent safety records.
- Getting a vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.
- The vaccines cannot change your DNA in any way.
- The vaccines are free.
3. Help an older adult find a COVID-19 vaccine. Some older adults may struggle to navigate appointment systems. To help your older friend, check your health department's website. Find out who is eligible in your area, where vaccines are being offered and how to sign up. You may be able to help your friend snag an appointment.