Despite officially ending Washington’s state of emergency, many seniors are still struggling with adjusting to life.
EVERETT, Wash – It’s Tuesday, and Lucille Debose knows where she wants to be.
The pandemic kept Lucille under house arrest. She misses her church and her friends, which is why she is so happy to be at Everett’s Carl Gipson Senior Center.
The weekly gathering is organized by Homage Senior Services and sponsored by Snohomish County.
“It’s a connection, there’s no need to be at home all the time,” said the 89-year-old.
People gather to get information on everything from registering to vote, to health insurance and property tax breaks.
They sit down to lunch together, but mostly, they just play board games, talk, and enjoy each other’s company.
“This way we can talk freely about whatever we want to talk about,” said Lucille, a retired elementary school teacher. “It keeps our brains sharp so we recognize each other when we walk in.”
The program is specifically for older adults in the African-American community, but all are welcome.
Brieanna Capers led the outreach and says it’s about building trust.
“Because it’s been an underserved community for so long, I think that trust has been broken,” she said. “Currently, I’m seeing it rebuilt.”
Homage’s partnership with Snohomish County is also providing mental health counseling.
The loneliness and isolation brought on by the pandemic can lead to everything from higher blood pressure to higher death rates.
Mental health consultant Nancy Brosemer believes the program is a very good shot.
“Depression goes down, anxiety goes down,” she says. “Just to see someone’s face, that’s a big thing now.”
Brosemer said she still sees many people socially shy, still stuck in their pandemic, but the simple act of being around others can change all that.
“Everybody here, you’ll see a smile on their face,” she said. “Some people are reluctant at first, but we’ll guide them. We just want them to give it a try, and that’s usually all it takes.”
Homage is providing short-term consulting and will also connect people with long-term counseling. The organization accepts Medicare, while some private advisors do not.
So as she rolls the dice in another round of Parcheesi, this is where you’ll find Lucille Debose and her friends every Tuesday.
Lucille knows the game of life works best when you have a good team to connect with.
“I always have something to do or something to learn,” she said. “I’ve always looked forward to that.”
For more information about the program, contact Brieanna Capers at email@example.com.
CLOCK: KING 5 top stories playlist on YouTube
https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/program-h-snohomish-county-seniors-adapt-covid-19-pandemic/281-eea15db2-3716-4e9c-83e5-f30b6f00a78f Snohomish County seniors get help adapting to post-pandemic world