Neighborhood Self Help By Older Persons Project - SHOPP SENIOR VIRTUAL COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS YEAR 2

At the start of the pandemic, SHOPP’s staff of 100 pivoted from in-person programming to supporting older adults and caregivers through virtual communication. In a two-week span, we went from an organization delivering hundreds of on-site and off-site services and activities to working remotely, maintaining contact with thousands of seniors either by phone or connecting virtually. We quickly determined the need to engage seniors in virtual activities, wellness services, education, and other forms of support. Our goal was to promote social connectedness, build awareness, provide social service support, and offer cognitive stimulation as many were beginning to express loneliness, sadness, depression, and a sense of emptiness due to their inability to attend programming, visit family and friends and engage in normal daily activities due to stay at home orders. This is extremely concerning for seniors who may now be at home with their abuser during this isolation period, unable to receive respite or support in dealing with their abuser and preventing further abuse.

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