For many, socializing safely outside has been a saving grace during the pandemic.
But, as temperatures drop, it’s become harder to comfortably chat al fresco with friends. Social isolation, especially for older adults, is becoming a troubling side effect of the crisis.
Recently, CJP brought some warmth to older adults in our community so they can remain connected to each other. Through the Coronavirus Emergency Fund, CJP granted $10,000 to partners 2Life Communities and Hebrew SeniorLife to purchase outdoor heat lamps so residents can stay warm as they safely socialize outside.
“Social isolation is a very real risk during this pandemic and can lead to physical and cognitive decline in older adults,” said Hebrew SeniorLife president and CEO Louis J. Woolf. “We know that socializing is safest outside, but continuing our outdoor programming has become a real challenge as the weather turns colder. The heat lamps provided by CJP will allow Hebrew SeniorLife residents to continue to gather safely, socialize, and be active. CJP’s support for Hebrew SeniorLife throughout this difficult time has been life-saving for our staff, patients, and residents.”
2Life Communities president and CEO Amy Schectman echoed similar sentiments.
“We saw quickly how much loss of physical and cognitive ability our residents had lost during the March through May isolation period in their apartments and also how quickly functional ability was restored with social interaction,” she said. “With CJP’s help, these space heaters will allow interactions to continue into our cold New England climate and provide us with a true lifeline.”
The heat lamps are just one way that CJP has supported those most vulnerable during the pandemic. To date, CJP has distributed more than $4 million in emergency relief grants to organizations caring for people who suddenly found themselves in need, including isolated older adults, those in economic crisis, and families without childcare.
“With CJP’s community-wide view of the most urgent needs, we’ve been able to quickly mobilize resources and send them where they can do the most good,” said Dr. Sarah Abramson, CJP’s senior vice president of strategy and impact. “The COVID-19 pandemic is widespread and complex, but through our strong partnerships and thanks to our generous donors, CJP is making a huge impact in caring for the vulnerable and keeping our community connected to Jewish life.”