|State of Idaho
Idaho Commission on Aging
|6305 W. Overland, Suite 110, Boise 83709
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0007
|Judy B. Taylor
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT: Janet Miller
Help those most lonely this holiday season.
Boise ID (November 27, 2023)
Loneliness is real! And even though many of us think of loneliness as an emotional response, it is so much more.
According to a recent publication by the US Surgeon General loneliness has far reaching effects. As expected, the report verified that loneliness is connected to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. However, it is also linked to increased rates of dementia, heart disease, elevated blood pressure and diabetes.
Although many nursing homes and assisted living centers do a great job of connecting their residents, the reality is that many residents continue to feel lonely. The National Library of Medicine reports that 40 percent of nursing home residents feel some level of loneliness. This is especially true for those that do not have regular visits from family and friends.
The good news is that you can make a difference this holiday season and throughout the year.
The Idaho Commission on Aging (ICOA) encourages you to write letters to Residents of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities in your area. Write a letter, send a card, have your children draw a picture, and send it to a facility in your area addressed to “Any Resident”. This may not seem like much, but to a lonely person, it would mean the world. These letters will be distributed to residents who have little to no contact with family and friends.
If you would like to share your efforts on social media, we encourage you to use the hashtag #IdahoConnects to encourage others to join in and make a difference.
About the Idaho Commission on Aging
The Idaho Commission on Aging (ICOA) serves Idaho’s seniors, people with disabilities, and their caregivers by safeguarding their rights, fostering self-sufficiency, and advocating on their behalf. The ICOA provides opportunities for individuals to access a comprehensive array of private and public pay, long term care, and support services through “Single Access Points” operated by the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs).
The Older Americans Act (OAA) authorizes the state to designate a State Unit on Aging (SUA) to administer federal programs in Idaho. ICOA has the authority to develop and manage budgets and programs to address the needs of older Idahoans, people with disabilities and their caregivers.
The ICOA administers state and federally funded programs under the OAA and the State Senior Services Act by contracting with six geographically located Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). The AAAs provide OAA services as well as Idaho’s Ombudsman and Adult Protective programs.