Connections matter, especially during the holidays | News, Sports, Jobs – Evening Observer



Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services is excited to participate in the 2021 “Home for the Holidays — Staying Connected and Healthy During the Covid-19 Pandemic” campaign, led by the Eldercare Locator, USAging and the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

The web site notes, “After nearly 18 months of living with COVID-19, many of us, including the older adults we serve, could benefit from checking-up on healthy aging habits — and caregivers concerned about the changes they see in older loved ones could use help with next steps. This is why the Eldercare Locator’s 2021 Home for the Holidays campaign will focus on educating older adults, caregivers, families and professionals on some of the simple questions they can ask to check in with themselves and their older loved ones — and how to access services provided by the Aging Network that can enhance the ability of older adults to age well in their homes and communities.”

Launched every year during the holiday season, Home for the Holidays encourages discussion of important issues affecting older Americans at a time of the year when family and friends often gather. Staying Connected and Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Resources for Older Adults and Caregivers is a consumer brochure that highlights the importance of social connection, its impact on our health — and ways the Aging Network can help older adults connect to their communities during this time of limited in-person social interactions.

Please take the time to learn more about healthy aging in a pandemic world. It is a difficult time in our lives, with the ongoing pandemic. Please contact the Office for Aging Services to speak with the NY Connects program to see how your needs can be met. For more information on local resources available for older adults and their caregivers, contact Chautauqua County NY Connects at, or call (716) 753-4582, 363-4582, or 661-7582 and check us out on Facebook

The pandemic has really highlighted what is really important and necessary in life: social donnections.

As human beings, we know that being able to socialize with friends, family, and others keeps us happy and mentally stimulated. Conversely, the social isolation that we have all felt by being stuck at home and unable to participate in our favorite social activities leads to anxiety, depression, and can contribute to poor health.

Unfortunately, social isolation for many older adults has not completely gone away.

In rural counties like ours, many older adults can become socially isolated as they start to get older and are dealing with more health problems that make it difficult to get out and about in the community.

Maybe their spouse dies or they give up driving.

Without a car and limited transportation options, it can be a challenge to do essentials like doctor visits and grocery shopping, let alone be involved with a social club or community activities.

Remember the online learning platform for older adults through the NY State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) and our member organization, AgingNY, called GetSetUp. Through our Chautauqua County Office for Aging (OFAS), older adults in the county can have access to more than 300 different course options specifically developed for older adults. These are live classes, not pre-recorded videos, where you can safely interact with other older adults. Additionally, all guides and instructors are retired educators/professionals/technologists, promoting economic empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and a purpose driven life.

Keep connected, keep on top maintaining your health, and keep checking on neighbors, friends and families!

If you are looking for help with a relative who lives in another county or another state, call the Eldercare Locator at National Call Center at 1(800) 677-1116 or visit their website at Happy Holidays! Every year the Home for the Holidays campaign chooses different topic for family discussion around the holidays. Other brochures available from previous years include Caregiving Across the Miles: A Resource for Long-distance Caregivers; Living well with Dementia in the Community; Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness as you Age; and Home Improvement Scams: Tools to Reduce your Risk. Contact Chautauqua County NY Connects at, or call (716) 753-4582, 363-4582, or 661-7582 and check us out on Facebook. Happy holidays and wishing you a healthy 2022!

Mary Ann Spanos is Chautauqua County Office for the Aging director.

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