Even before pandemic shutdowns began, 69-year-old Deborah Allen of Waterford, Michigan felt isolated.
Deborah has limited financial resources and she lost her ability to drive due to a medical condition. Her husband and son passed away and her daughter doesn’t have a car. Her mobility has been impacted — but not her spirit. “Life keeps going on and you can't quit,” she says. “I’ve been through a lot, but the Lord is with me.”
The pandemic has only elevated the social isolation crisis. According to a 2020 survey, 56% of older adults report feeling isolated — up more than double from 27% in 2018.
Now, as over 72% of adults ages 65 and older are vaccinated, seniors are seeking age-friendly experiences that support their health and well-being. For Deborah, that meant signing up with “Papa Pals,” a program providing seniors with younger companions to assist with basic daily activities.