ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Approximately 19 million seniors live around the country. With colder weather settling in, the Local Office on Aging is asking you to keep the elderly in mind this winter season.
According to the National Institute on Aging, older adults can lose body heat faster than younger people. So, what feels like a big chill for younger people can turn into a dangerous problem for the elderly, like hypothermia.
Therefore, it’s vital to make sure their heater is working , as well as keep on on their food and medication supply.
Health experts encourage making sure seniors are eating enough food to keep their weight up. They stress that body fat helps keep us warm.
According to the Local Office on Aging, isolation could become the second pandemic for the elderly, which is why it’s important to check on them.
“I have a great concern for this winter. With this pandemic, it’s going to exacerbate things. They will be more susceptible to isolating more, and not having that social contact they’re becoming depressed and those type of things. It’s just vital to check. On our seniors,” said Ron Boyd, President and CEO of Local Office on Aging, Inc.
Due to the pandemic, the Local Office on Aging says the number of volunteers for Meals on Wheels has dropped. They say the staff has been working twice as hard trying to make sure seniors get their meals.
They have not had to shut down any sites due to COVID-19, but they had to go to a four-day delivery schedule, which means seniors are getting more meals into their homes each week.
However, what is missing is that in-person connection.
“The no-contact delivery and getting into the home to check and see if there are any dangers that can be identified is serious. We are getting more food in, but they are not getting that moment inside the home to see if there is anything wrong and to spend quality time,” said Boyd.
According to the Local Office on Aging, this is the first time in a while their pantry has been this low. They say that’s because of the higher demand due to the pandemic.
For information on how to donate, click here or call the Local Office on Aging headquarters at (540) 345-0451.
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