AREA AGENCY ON AGING OF PASCO PINELLAS, INC. OFFERS RESOURCES TO SUPPORT SENIORS’ MENTAL HEALTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
In Partnership with Department of Elder Affairs, Together Apart: Holidays at Heart Aims to Limit Loneliness for Seniors
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (November 30, 2020) – Across the state, local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are working together to promote mental health resources and programs for seniors through the Together Apart: Holidays at Heart campaign. While many older adults choose to stay safer at home and isolate themselves to prevent exposure to the coronavirus, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas, Inc. (AAAPP), in partnership with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA), are ensuring that no senior feels alone during the holiday season.
From November through January, AAAPP will be reaching out to local seniors in Pasco and Pinellas counties to conduct mental health checks and ensure they are aware of the resources available to them.
“Although we provide these services to our seniors year-round, it feels especially important to connect with them during the holidays,” said AAAPP Executive Director Ann Marie Winter. “We must do our part as a community to protect the physical and mental health of our most vulnerable population by spreading holiday joy and cheer in the safest ways possible.”
Locally, AAAPP is offering its Silver Santas program, which provides holiday gifts to 1,000 local area seniors who do not otherwise have any family to celebrate the holidays with. More information about Silver Santas can be found by visiting www.blspinellas.org/silver-santas.
“This year has presented numerous challenges for everyone, but we know Florida’s older population has been disproportionately affected,” said DOEA Secretary Richard Prudom. “We want to make sure the holidays remain a time of joy and connection for our seniors by reminding them that even though they might be apart from loved ones, there are many ways to reach out and stay connected. The services provided through local AAAs give individuals a way to identify and meet these needs.”
For more information about Together Apart: Holidays at Heart, visit www.holidaysatheart.org, and to learn more about AAAPP, visit www.agingcarefl.org. If you or a loved one are living with feelings of depression and loneliness this holiday season, please call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-96 ELDER (1-800-963-5337).
About Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas, Inc.
The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas is a non-profit organization that has been serving seniors and individuals with disabilities in our community since 1974. We serve as the Aging and Disability Resource Center for the entire two county area, providing an initial entry point for all aging and disability social services and coordinating a network of partners and providers to better meet the needs of our aging population. Our mission is to be a trusted resource to advocate, educate and empower seniors, adults with disabilities and caregivers which promotes independence, in partnership with the community. Find out more at www.AgingCareFL.org.
About the Florida Department of Elder Affairs
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the State Unit on Aging, helps Florida’s elders to remain healthy, safe, and independent. The Department provides most direct services through its Division of Statewide Community-Based Services, which works through the state’s eleven Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers to deliver essential services to a vital segment of the population. For more information, please visit www.elderaffairs.org.