July 8, 2019
One answer to the loneliness epidemic:
A day at the beach
One answer to the loneliness epidemic: A day at the beach
Unbound is currently celebrating the 35th year of its elder program. Similar to aging adults in the United States, Unbound elders face significant challenges with social isolation and loneliness.
According to a new report by the National Institute on Aging, loneliness is a massive threat to public health, especially seniors. And this is coming right as elderly populations around the world are reaching their highest numbers in history.
Unbound found that connectedness is key when addressing this loneliness epidemic – pairing elders with neighbors and friends in their local communities, as well as a supporter from around the world who knows their story and encourages them. Unbound also works with 280,000 children around the world, and local staff continue to share how fostering intergenerational connections between the families and elders has been deeply impactful and beneficial for everyone involved.
Each local office has their own specific approach, but one common theme is rebuilding community, forming groups of elders who take part in group activities alongside traditional methods of support like nutrition or medical care. One recent group in Colombia took that approach to a fun place – as part of a program asking about dreams, some elders living in the mountains said their dream was to see the ocean for the first time.
Elder sponsorship through Unbound helps provide medicine, food and clothing to adults 60 and older who are living in extreme poverty and isolation around the world. In addition to providing benefits that address immediate needs for health services and nutrition, Unbound works with elders to identify their dreams and help them set goals to achieve throughout the remainder of their lives. More than 30,000 elders across 18 countries are currently sponsored through Unbound.