This April marks the fourth month of an initiative started this year by Assemblywoman Linda Carter (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union) to send personalized birthday cards to Plainfield’s senior citizens every month.
“My hope is these birthday cards spark some extra joy in people’s lives on their special day and show there’s someone out there who is thinking of them,” said Carter. “What started as an initiative to reach out and connect with seniors in my local community has since gained greater meaning and importance in the time of social distancing.”
As crucial steps to mitigate the coronavirus increase social isolation, they may also intensify the prevalence of loneliness among our senior population. Last year, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration put the number of elderly adults experiencing feelings of loneliness on a regular basis at 43 percent saying loss in social support can cause both psychological and physical health impacts.
“Many of our seniors live alone and because of coronavirus have now lost their regular means of social interaction,” said Carter. “Luckily, with technology and a little kindness there are a lot of ways we can ensure they’re socially plugged in. Whether that be with a birthday card, a video call or an offer to help with grocery shopping. There are plenty of opportunities to help our seniors feel connected during this time and I urge everyone to identify some way they can help uplift someone.”