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Efforts being made to help seniors feel less lonely during the holidays

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Humans are built to socialize with each other. We are meant to be connected. When we are not, it can lead to bad outcomes.

Loneliness has been found to be more dangerous than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Seniors are often at the highest risk of loneliness, especially during the holidays.

“Some [seniors] because they have lost their spouses or… [have] family members that have spread around the country,” Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership CEO John Radford said.

“Sadly, 44% of seniors experience loneliness during the holidays,” Medicare FAQ said.

There are several programs and organizations that work to help seniors feel less lonely. EICAP offers a program where seniors can sign up to get a phone call once a week.

The Bingham County Senior Center holds events like its annual Christmas party. It also provides Meals on Wheels. Food gets delivered to seniors in the area who are not able to go to the grocery store to buy what they need.

These deliveries are important not just because of the meals, but also because of the socializing the drivers provide.

“Our volunteer drivers go and talk to [the seniors] each day,” said Bingham County Senior Center executive director Pamela Beus. “The drivers do a lot of things like change batteries in hearing aids and smoke detectors and reset the time on clocks.”

For more resources to help seniors feel less lonely, call the Area Agency on Aging at 1-208-522-5391.

Article Topic Follows: Holidays

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Noah Farley

Noah is a reporter for Local News 8.


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