New resource helps older adults throughout pandemic with mental, physical health

By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Special focus is being put on health and wellness for older adults braving the pandemic by themselves. Many are being encouraged to explore a unique program developed specifically for them.

Social isolation is a growing problem for older adults, according to officials, who say it's something that's often overlooked.

Faith Heasler with the Pennsylvania Council on Aging said 48% of adults with poor health have said the pandemic has led to anxiety or depression.

“That's enlightening information for us to realize the scope of it is beyond the physical health,” she said.

Which led officials to create SOLO, or the Strengthening Older Lives Online program.

“They can talk about what can they do to actually help themselves maintain good mental health, spiritual health, and physical health,” she said.

This digital program not only gives people immediate things they can do to relieve anxiety, but it puts them in contact with others.

“We have a lot of resources and the tools for folks to explore and get themselves connected with their communities or join an online meditation, or a silver sneakers online class,” she said.

SOLO also has questionnaires that help people build active health plans.