We are hearing the words isolation and quarantine frequently because of COVID 19 that has shut down most of the world. Some people are adapting amazingly at entertaining themselves as we isolate ourselves. Have you heard the myriad of classic songs that have been rewritten with clever Coronavirus lyrics? Some people are creating very funny, beautiful, or thoughtful memes. Some of us are not that creative but now have ridiculously clean homes. Many people are reporting feeling anxiety, depression, and a lack of control over their lives. Experts are comparing our isolation to those who have been in prison and astronauts who are completely alone for long periods of time. This week I called to check in with a 94-year-old relative who emotionally explained to me why she didn’t get a birthday card out on time, “Can you imagine not being able to go out when you want to? I used to work. I came and went as I pleased. I can’t do any of that anymore.” I would officially like to add to the list of people that have experienced true isolation: Inmates, astronauts, AND seniors. This is nothing new to them. My hope is Silver Station can take at least some seniors off the list of the truly isolated and offer them the resources to help them not be alone, to get them what they need, and to allow them to age their best way possible.
I am not one to ignore the elephant in the room… COVID-19 is that nasty virus that has shut down everything fun across the globe. This virus has changed everyone’s lives from quarantine to, sadly, losing a loved one. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors are one of the more susceptible populations to get the virus. Let’s talk about why… As we age, we get slower. Lets be clear, we are no less capable, powerful, and dynamic, but we do get slower. Our thinking gets a little slower; our movement gets a little slower; and our immune system get a little slower. We just can’t fight illnesses and infections like we used to, just like most of us can’t so anything as fast as we used to. Luckily, most of us don’t really want to do things as fast as we used to. I don’t feel the need to drive as fast as I used to but I don’t meet as many very nice police officers as I used to either. There is a yin and yang to everything, really, but I digress. Another reason seniors are more at risk is an underlying condition we may have, most of us have at least one, that make fighting the virus even more difficult. Lastly, our lungs may be damaged from smoking, living with a smoker, or pollution we have all lived around longer than younger folks. The older we are, the more these issues apply. This is why we can’t see our loved ones in long term living facilities and rehabs and why we need to be very careful not to spread the virus to older people. Everyone please stay healthy and safe and let’s look out for one another.
People often ask me what Silver Station is and my answer is always, it is a social club for people 55 and older and I include how important socialization is as we age. One of the most near and dear reasons why Silver Station is so important is it can help people feel a sense of purpose. What does that mean, a sense of purpose, and how does Silver Station accomplish that? Sadly, Merriam Webster doesn’t give a definition for ‘sense of purpose’. It does define purpose as “something that one hopes or intends to accomplish” and sense as “to have a clear idea of”. If we put those together, we get a sense of purpose is: A clear idea of something one hopes to accomplish. My definition of a sense of purpose: A reason to get up in the morning. If someone doesn’t have a reason to get up in the morning, the day can very well be lost. There are many reasons we get up in the morning: work, children, pets, a hobby, a loved one etc. As we age, many of those reasons are gone. I want Silver Station to give people a reason to get up in the morning, a sense of purpose, whether it is to meet friends for coffee each morning or to finish that game of chess or for a class. Helping people feel a sense of purpose is my sense of purpose. Silver Station can give us all a reason to get up in the morning.