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Social isolation and loneliness is a real threat to an elder's health. We are delighted with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) annual Home for the Holidays Campaign, which seeks to combat isolation and loneliness in older Americans. Team CareLinx is pleased to respond to their call to help spread the word about the educational campaign and campaign publication, “Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age.” We invite our online community of families and caregivers, investors, and social media followers to learn more about this serious issue and join us in promoting this important educational effort. For example, consider asking your senior center staff, church, public library, YMCA, and other organizations in your community if they are aware of the Home for the Holidays Campaign and, if not, share this article and the campaign details.

The n4a campaign is in collaboration with the AARP Foundation, to raise awareness of the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness affecting millions of older Americans. This topic is the focus of the annual Eldercare Locator Home for the Holidays Campaign, which will be conducted through January 2017. Given the vital role of the Aging Network in providing crucial home and community-based services and supports for older Americans, AAAs (Area Agencies on Aging) are uniquely positioned to shine a light on this problem and to lead the way in finding solutions. Even though the campaign just launched, over 70 AAAs from coast-to-coast have already contacted us to learn how they can conduct public education campaigns in their communities! To support your efforts, we developed a campaign toolkit, containing all the components you need to spread the word. You can also order the campaign publication: “Expand Your Circles: Prevent Isolation and Loneliness As You Age,” a full-color, glossy brochure that provides tips and resources to help older adults reduce their risk or take steps to get reconnected if they are already isolated; it also features a Self-Assessment Checklist, to enable older adults and caregivers to evaluate whether there is a potential problem. By working together—nationally and in communities across the nation—we can make a difference in the lives of so many older Americans who are at risk or suffering today. Please join us! - n4a Communications Director Dallas Jamison

When you are home for the holidays, we urge you to refer to this publication, discuss the issues raised, and take the self-assessment checklist (see below). What is your score? Is transportation an issue? Can you leave the house without assistance?

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We commend the n4a and AARP Foundation for developing and promoting this educational campaign. Best wishes for a joyful holiday season.

December 5, 2016
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