In 1985, Miriam Yenkin was nominated president of the Jewish Federation of Columbus (now JewishColumbus) and, upon her acceptance, became the first woman to serve in that role. Before, during, and after her time as president—for 60 years, in fact—Yenkin has been passionate about her community, and over the decades has developed strong and enduring connections with it. So it was an unusual and discomforting feeling for her when, earlier this year, she didn’t know where to turn for help.
Sherry was naturally devasted when her father died. But almost immediately, she was comforted knowing that her mother was surrounded by supportive and loving friends—friends who had known and appreciated her dad because he and Sherry’s mom had moved into a continuous care retirement community two years earlier.
Elizabeth Mefford, Director of Marketing and Admissions at Cedar Village, says she hears stories like Sherry’s (a pseudonym) all the time.
What can older adults and those who love them do, when isolation from COVID-19 and the need for socialization come into conflict? Though we know that socialization plays a role in everyone’s health, no matter the age, it is particularly essential for older adults, whose wellbeing is so dependent on the stimulus they receive through social interactions.
As adults get older, they can become more vulnerable to scams and different types of abuse—sometimes from those whom they trust. The statistics show this is a pervasive problem, which is becoming increasingly common. Elder abuse has been recognized as a largely hidden public health problem that affects five million, or one in ten older Americans aged 60 and older, every year, according to the National Council on Aging. Globally, an estimated 141 million older adults have experienced elder abuse.