With the help of an online social platform, a local organization hopes to bridge the loneliness gap for Northwest Indiana seniors struggling to connect.
Northwest Indiana Community Action recently partnered with Secure Senior Connections, an online community for individuals 60 and older that offers benefits such as live events, social groups and health information.
The goal of the platform is to empower seniors to live a healthier and happier life, says Claudia Pena, communications manager for Northwest Indiana Community Action (NWICA).
“Through this partnership, we want to help seniors lead healthier lives – mentally and physically,” she said. “With over 30 interest groups, more than 50 monthly live virtual events and exclusive content focused on empowering seniors to live their best lives, there is something for everyone.”
Nearly one-third of all seniors live by themselves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the last few years, NWICA began taking a closer look at options to combat social isolation for older adults, many of whom spent months alone during the pandemic.
“There are many different platforms, but NWICA really liked Secure Senior Connections,” said Jennifer Malone, NWICA chief operating officer. “We had many months of conversations about the benefits of the Secure Senior Connections platform and how it could benefit the older adults in our community.”
With the aid of American Rescue Plan funding, Malone says the agency was able to explore this new service.
Designed with and for older adults, the Secure Senior Connections platform has an easy-to-use interface and allows members to form new relationships based on shared life experiences and interests, Pena says. The platform is free for users thanks to NWICA’s sponsorship.
“One of the goals with partnering with Secure Senior Connections was to provide a space where people 60 and older can feel safe and connected when we know that senior isolation and loneliness is prevalent in our community,” Pena said.
Members also receive targeted, exclusive content on medical topics including brain health and fall prevention that encourages them to take better care of themselves, she says.
By: Christine Bryant Times correspondant