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How older adults can find support for loneliness, depression & anxiety

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On this edition of Your Call, we'll continue our mental health series by discussing the issues facing older adults.

During the pandemic, older people were isolated to protect them from possible infection, but studies show the effects of isolation and loneliness among older adults may have more dire consequences than people of other ages. The pandemic has also resulted in depression, physical health problems, and cognitive decline among the older population. What resources are available?

Guests:

Dr. Ashwin Kotwal, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Rachel Weiskittle, Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and host of The Geropsychology Podcast

Ali Chiu, Supervisor of Elder Abuse Prevention Services at the Institute on Aging and former volunteer on the Friendship Line, the free warm hotline for isolated, lonely seniors

Web Resources:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800.273.8255 - someone is always available to talk or chat online

The toll-free Friendship Line California is at 1-888-670-1360

USA Today: 'I miss everything. I miss everybody': Depression rates for seniors are soaring amid COVID-19

The Washington Post: Loneliness can increase risk of heart disease by 27 percent for older women

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: The epidemiology of social isolation and loneliness among older adults during the last years of life

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: A peer intervention reduces loneliness and improves social well-being in low-income older adults: A mixed-methods study

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.