AARP lifts spirits of Tallahassee's elderly community

Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 18:12:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It's the little things, like laughter that are hard to come by during a pandemic.

AARP's Community Connections are lifting spirits while thousands of seniors deal with isolation in Florida.

Loneliness and isolation was a problem before the pandemic, and it's just exacerbated that.

Leslie Spencer is the Associate State Director for Outreach with AARP.

"People can stop eating or stop taking their medications," said Spencer.

That can lead to deadly consequences for the close to 13.8 million seniors aging alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"We want to focus on what people can do for themselves," Spencer said.

That's why AARP offers online resources to help seniors rebound.

"To help them stay engaged, positive, and focused through coronavirus," said Spencer.

Including a seminar featuring U.S. Army veteran and yoga instructor, Sonya Quijada, and a former Big Bend Hospice pastoral director, Candace McKibben.

"What beauty are you creating and inviting in just today," Quijada asked.

"Laughter can connect us in that way," said McKibben.

Their webinars aren't just about joy.

They also have videos on emergency preparedness for hurricane season and creating healthy meals while stuck at home, finding ways to stay healthy while dealing with an uncertain future.

As the pandemic and social distancing continue, Spencer says helping out however she can is a wonderful feeling.

"Really gratifying," said Spencer.

They have instructions on how to use the technology required to stay connected, available here.