Find local volunteer groups to help with chores.
As the largest interest group dedicated to assist Americans 50 and older, AARP is quickly rolling out a number of initiatives to help during the coronavirus outbreak.
One initiative we would like to share from AARP Innovations Labs is helping facilitate the national “mutual aid” group movement through an online platform called AARP Community Connections (https://aarpcommunityconnections.org). It allows users to organize and find local volunteer groups to help pick up groceries, provide financial assistance or lend emotional support to neighbors, friends and loved ones.
Across the country, these mutual aid groups are helping communities stay connected at a time when people must practice social distancing to stay safe.
AARP Community Connections includes multiple resources to help those who are feeling isolated, depressed, overwhelmed or anxious. Users are able to:
Request a call from an AARP volunteer, or a trained counselor
Join “The Mighty,” a safe, supportive online community for people facing health challenges and their caregivers
Social isolation was a common problem even before the coronavirus pandemic: A study, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and supported by AARP Foundation, reported 43 percent of adults age 60 or older said they had felt lonely. And, while social isolation and loneliness are serious health issues by themselves, they can also exacerbate existing health problems, such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes. AARP Community Connections helps people reach out to volunteers in their community who are willing to help their neighbors with their unique needs.
AARP Community Connections is live and completely free to use, and AARP membership is not required.