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Reaching Out to Your Elders While Maintaining Social Distancing

Reaching Out to Your Elders While Maintaining Social Distancing

From the UChicago News, Sociologist Kathleen Cagney, speaks on how isolating the elderly might have affects on their physical and mental health. Now is the time to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors who may be vulnerable.

“Think about organizing something—even small changes, like leaving a note under the door or in the mailbox,” said Prof. Kathleen Cagney From the University of Chicago. “People should look for opportunities to do something that may make them slightly uncomfortable, but that could save someone’s life.”

Cagney says isolation can trigger or develop unhealthy behaviors like abusing alcohol, smoking, or maybe even forgetting to turn off the stove from feeling disengaged. 

Some ideas that Prof. Cagney suggests to look after your elders are:

  • Reaching out to them through Social Media networks.
  • Leave care packages.
  • Physical check-ins could be replaced by Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.
  • Even reach out to your neighbors by putting a note in their mailbox.

“If people take responsibility for knowing what’s going on in, say, three adjacent units, that’s not a significant burden. This is an opportunity to come together for the common good.”


To read more on Professor Kathleen Cagney, visit the UChicago News at https://news.uchicago.edu/story/check-elderly-during-coronavirus-outbreak-it-could-save-lives

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