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Keyword: loneliness

Baltimore County Department of Aging's Call to Action to Combat Social Isolation

The Baltimore County Department of Aging’s (BCDA) 2019 Living Connected initiative has provided resources and activities to combat social isolation in older adults. Many life events that occur later in life—retirement, loss of a friend/spouse, moving, changes in health—happen as one ages. This can cause one’s social network to become very small, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Further, research has proven that isolation has detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. The affects are wide ranging. In fact, it is said that loneliness and social isolation has the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Photo of Fred"Coming to the center for activities and meals
saved my life. I was very lonely after my wife passed."
- Fred, 84, Rosedale

 “Each of us is aware of someone in our communities that may be feeling isolated and alone. Therefore, BCDA has issued a Call to Action for Thursday, September 12, 2019. On that date, everyone was asked to reach out to someone in the community that would benefit from feeling more connected and valued by inviting them to share a meal or to join a group of peers to break bread,” challenges BCDA Director Laura Riley.

Older Adults Welcome to Join

Baltimore County’s 20 senior centers are hosting lunches where all older adults are welcome to join our Eating Together Program for a special meal. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit a center, to meet the members and to discover the diverse activities offered at the site. For example, the Liberty Senior Center is hosting close to 200 older adults for their meal at noon. “The center will be filled with activity, music and chances to connect with peers while enjoying a meal,” added Marie Dix, Director of the Liberty Senior Center. Additionally, many centers are offering day long opportunities to share a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Photo of Dorothy"Knowing a meal is available is such an asset."
- Dorothy, 80, Rosedale

Further, religious institutions, restaurants, community associations and housing buildings have joined this Day to invite older adults to special events and deals to make them feel valued and appreciated. To learn more about opportunities to share a meal and to discover the community partner events being offered, you may visit the County's No Senior Eats Alone webpage.

Other Initiatives

No Senior Eats Alone Day is just one effort on behalf of BCDA to keep older adults connected. If you know of an older adult that would benefit from getting connected to the Department of Aging’s resources and programs, contact MAP or the Maryland Access Point of Baltimore County at 410-887-2594 or email aginginfo@baltimorecountymd.gov.

The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. For more information on the various programs provided by BCDA, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/aging.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017