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November 2019 engAGED Newsletter

Promoting Engagement Through the Holidays
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is the time of the year when families and friends come together to celebrate. This is also a time of year when older adults may be at a higher risk of feeling lonely or isolated. Here are a few tips to help older adults maintain their social connections—over the holidays and all year long. Encourage older adults to: 
  • Use Skype or FaceTime to connect with family and friends. Your agency may run classes to show older adults how to use these programs
  • Volunteer for or attend social events through local organizations or faith-based institutions. Your agency can post a list of volunteer opportunities at senior centers and on your website
  • Try a new hobby or class. Your agency can offer or refer people to local art classes.
  • Check out the engAGED Community Toolkit for other engAGing ideas.

Blog Post Highlight

engAGED is excited to kick off a series of blog posts from experts on best practices for social engagement programming—and ideas that you can use in your community. Check out our kick off post, engAGED Aging in the Community, and visit the engAGED blog on the first Tuesday of every month to see our latest blog posts.

engAGING Programs

Partners in Getting engAGED
Research shows that engaging in social activities counteracts and helps prevent social isolation. For example, older adults interested in tutoring can sign up to participate in a local Experience Corps program. The volunteer organizations listed below are just some of the great community partners that your agency can refer older adults to that can help them stay engAGED through volunteering. Check them out!
engAGING articles
Just a Phone Call Away
Research conducted by GreatCall and Aging in Place Technology Watch shows the impact connecting with family and friends has on older adults. The research also highlights the importance of reaching out to older adults who may be new to an area of whose family and friends do not live nearby. According to the article:
  • 55 percent of older adults surveyed said phone calls with family and friends has made the biggest impact in helping them feel less lonely
  • 50 percent of older adults surveyed said that having a community or family that plans activities would be most helpful in maintaining social connections
  • Of those experiencing loneliness and depression, 34 percent of older adults surveyed percent choose to talk to a friend about it instead of a family member or doctor
Addressing Social Isolation and Osteoarthritis through Physical Activity 
Older adults who have mobility issues or physical impairments may be at risk of social isolation, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study highlights the connection between osteoarthritis and an increased risk for social isolation due to joint pain and limited mobility. Researchers suggest that older adults visit senior centers and engage in physical activity as a way to stave off social isolation. This may be a great way to market your agency’s evidence-based programs such as Matter of Balance.
engAGING with Ridesharing Programs
Not being able to drive can be challenging for many older adults and can lead to isolation. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University note that offering alternate forms of transportation such as ride sharing can help older adults keep in touch with their social networks. These transportation options can be especially useful during the holidays to help older adults visit with family and friends, and attend special events. In addition, Before You Give Up The Keys, a guide from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center helps older adults locate transportation options as they transition from driving..
Supporting Family Caregivers 
Research from AARP shows that one in 10 caregivers has no one to talk to about private matters, and one in five feel they have no one to reach out to for help. November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to raise awareness about the value of the 90 million Americans that provide care to a loved one. This month is a great time to plan a respite event for caregivers to help them remain healthy and engAGED in our communities—now and during the holiday season.
Intergenerational Shared Sites: Connecting Older Adults with Children and Youth Under One Roof
December 10, 2019 at 1:00pm

Intergenerational shared site programs engage older and younger people in the same physical location—and provide unique opportunities for ongoing and sustained intergenerational engagement. Join us for a webinar to learn about intergenerational shared site programs and how they can address social isolation, combat ageism and reduce costs. Participants will learn how Area Agencies on Aging have successfully adopted these intergenerational initiatives and will receive information on resources to help develop their own intergenerational shared site programs. Webinar speakers include Sheri Steinig with Generations United and Crystal E. Hood with the Detroit Area Agency on Aging. 
Want to learn more about engAGED: The National Resource Center for Older Adults? Visit us at or contact us at
About engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults
engAGED is funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, and is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) with support from Generations United, Lifetime Arts, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) and Osher Institutes for Lifelong Learning. engAGED will highlight information about emerging trends, resources, and ways the Aging Network can implement similar programs in their communities, and will develop a national strategy for educating and informing the Aging Network about innovative ways to keep older adults connected to their communities.
Copyright © 2019 National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, All rights reserved.

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