Somewhere along the line America's pop culture began to malign millennials. They became known as the narcissistic generation that would rather play video games than outdoor sports; craved YouTube fame; wanted only to be tech entrepreneurs; decorated with laptops and futons; were summed up as lazy and self-centered.
We were surprised by the results of our recent mini-poll, when we asked six case workers serving our elder population what they considered the most pressing current problem elders are facing. 3 out of 6 (50%) said, "internet scams". Internet scams?! What’s going on now? What kind of scoundrel would cheat the elderly out of the last of their nest egg?
Case workers tell us that the shameful practice of scamming seniors is on the rise. With the elderly population growing, seniors racked up more than $3 billion in losses this past year. Case workers say that the heart-breaking irony of elder fraud is that seniors are targeted because they tend to be trusting and polite.
Meals On Wheels, which delivers meals to the elderly in their homes and at senior centers, has seen demand for their services explode since the pandemic started.
- When COVID-19 hit, a staggering 89% of Meals On Wheels programs reported increased demand for meals, practically overnight.
- 79% of Meals On Wheels programs saw their demand double.
- Older adults who were mobile prior to the pandemic can no longer safely go to stores to buy their own food, and many do not have loved ones close by to help them through this time. Add this to the roster of seniors who were already homebound.
Adults 65 and older account for 16% of the US population but 80% of COVID-19 deaths. Even as most states begin to gradually reopen society to restart a stalled economy, the message to the elderly is “NOT YOU”. You best - “STAY HOME” – “ISOLATE” - “QUARANTINE” while the rest of society risks illness trying to get on with life.
Social workers who work with the elderly are concerned. They say that during times of crisis, mental health cannot be overlooked. Loneliness and social isolation for older adults have a deep, emotional impact, sometimes leading to social disorders such as depression and anxiety. Social isolation has also been linked to increases in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and nursing home placements.