Social interaction is essential for physical and mental health and well-being. The health benefits of human social interaction are plentiful; delaying memory loss, improving mood, stimulating appetite, and decreasing mortality. Aging experts have known the value of socialization for a long time, which is why the Older Americans Act (OAA) nutrition programs has three primary goals:
• reduce hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition,
• promote socialization, and
• delay the onset of adverse health conditions
Both the nutrition and regular connection that the OAA nutrition programs provide are now more important than ever since some form of social distancing interventions will be needed for a prolonged period due to COVID-19, which disproportionately impacts older adults.
Download this document for tips for your volunteers to build and strengthen these important connections.