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Holidays a good time to check on older loved ones

A local pastor talks to residents of a nonprofit retirement community, Fellowship Community in Whitehall Township, Pa., after their annual Thanksgiving Harvest Gathering last year. The community is home to some 360 older adults who live independently or with help from some of the retirement community's 275 employees. File.
A local pastor talks to residents of a nonprofit retirement community, Fellowship Community in Whitehall Township, Pa., after their annual Thanksgiving Harvest Gathering last year. The community is home to some 360 older adults who live independently or with help from some of the retirement community's 275 employees. File. (PHOTO BY KEVIN MINGORA / THE MORNING CALL)

In the holiday season, many will struggle with increased feelings of loneliness — especially seniors who spend more time alone than the average adult. According to Meals on Wheels America, one in four U.S. seniors live alone. Isolation can cause detrimental health issues including heightened risk of heart disease, dementia and premature death.

The holidays also bring their own challenges for isolated seniors, as they may struggle with increased lack of mobility and grief over lost loved ones. In September, the Jean Griswold Foundation partnered with Meals on Wheels America to tackle the senior isolation epidemic. We at Griswold Home Care have seen first-hand how companionship improves one’s well-being and we’re proud to support an organization that shares our mission of helping people live fulfilling lives at home.

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This season, we encourage you to join our efforts by checking on your aging loved ones often.

Adeola Busari, Ellicott City

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The writer is director of Griswold Home Care of Baltimore and Howard County.

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