INSIGHT FOR ELDERS
PANEL DISCUSSION: SOCIAL ISOLATION AND LONELINESS
Location: Oysterville Schoolhouse, 3322 School Road, Oysterville, Wa.
Date: Tuesday, October 25. 2:00pm to 4:00 pm
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought widespread public attention to the stresses from social isolation experienced by people throughout the United States. But the issue is not new in relation to older adults, particularly for those with limited resources. Isolated seniors are often invisible, having little access to connections and support within their own communities. Current research indicates that physical and environmental constraints, along with societal and medical myths about senior adults, increase the pain and trauma for individuals who believe they are no longer of value in the world. Isolation and loneliness are not only matters of personal discomfort. They are increasingly recognized as sources of slow death from substance abuse, malnutrition, and self-inflicted harm.
We believe this panel discussion can help save lives. When we recognize the hidden shame and anguish faced by an isolated person, listening carefully for both the pain and the hope, we can potentially move from being observers of the problem to becoming part of circles of support, for our families, groups, and the wider communities.
Each of the panel members has significant experience and commitment to this important issue. Marie McDaniel Bellisario, LCSW, is a longtime mental health clinician and researcher; Barbara Bate, PhD, is a community advocate and writer from Peace of Mind Pacific County; Doug Sheaffer is the direct service supervisor for the regional Olympic Area on Aging; and Bob Powell is case manager for families at the Senior Information and Assistance Office in Long Beach.
The Mission Statement of INSIGHT FOR ELDERS is to provide opportunity for continued learning for seniors through lectures and discussions on critical topics relevant to their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.