Family 411: Helping seniors avoid isolation

Family 411: Helping seniors avoid isolation (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Seniors are in the golden years of life but things aren't always shiny and bright.

Social isolation is a real problem. It can lead to health problems like depression or even dementia.

Florence is 93-years-young. When Local 12 News tagged along for a visit with Randy and Jacob it was a bit out of the ordinary for her.

Florence said, "I'm use to the boys, not you all. I'm use to him, that's my buddy at little brothers."

Randy Yauss is her buddy. He is also an elderly service coordinator at a non-profit that helps about 200 seniors.

Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly, is a social organization. They match elderly folks with volunteers for a very important thing; just to spend time with someone.

Randy said, "They haven't talked to a lot of people. They are ready to talk, you just have to listen. Listening is the big thing. Then just comment as you know, you hear things."

Randy said when talking to seniors promote a sense of purpose, encourage them to make friends and help with transportation. For example, he arranges for Florence to go to a water aerobics class.

Florence is sharing stories about her life with Jacob Nichols. He's a high school senior who's fulfilling a class project by visiting her. But through their get-togethers he said he's really learning something.

"Florence is a really strong lady. She's had to go thru things that helped her. Affected my life and the way I look at things," said Jacob.

And Florence is getting something from the visits too some company. Both her children live out of state.

"They come back to visit not to live. They left me here in this big house by myself," said Florence.

A house filled with years of memories. Florence has lots of life stories to tell. We can all learn something from adults like her if we just sit and listen.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans over 65 live alone. For women, it's a startling 46 percent. That's according to the Administration on Aging.

CLICK HERE for more information on Little Brothers.

CLICK HERE for more information on aging.

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