Phoenix nonprofit creating family environment for isolated seniors
Dec 18, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: Dec 28, 2023, 3:41 pm
(AP File Photo/Lynne Sladky)
PHOENIX — At least half of the seniors in the United States experience loneliness during the holidays, a recent study suggests, and one Phoenix nonprofit wants to alleviate that for the aging community.
“Casa de Primavera Senior Center” of Chicano Por La Causa is a place where Valley seniors over the age of 55 can go for social interaction, mental health services and more. It also have specific services for low-income seniors.
The center is attached to the Primavera apartments, which is a community designed for the elderly and mobility impaired. Both are located at 1617 N. 45th Ave. near McDowell Road and 43rd Avenue.
CPLC Social Services Director Roberto Del Real explained senior loneliness can be bad for both the body and the mind.
“When you’re isolated, you’re not moving around. So, what happens? You have obesity, depression … There’s just so many things connected to it. And it just kind of snowballs,” Real told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
The Primavera Senior Center is equipped to see between 100 to 150 people a day for reasons ranging from a hot meal for low-income seniors to just being able to connect with someone.
The aim is to create a family environment.
“As they get up in age a lot of them are just by themselves. Especially a lot of them in assisted living facilities, their families move away, lack of transportation. People die off in their families,” Real said.
When it comes to the care and services provided at Primavera, Real describes the approach as a “whole body approach.” That means they look at every facet of the body and mind when considering what someone’s needs are.
There’s a cultural aspect to senior loneliness, as well. Many of the seniors at Primavera are Latino and Real says that can make a difference.
“Latinos are used to having big families, like myself. I come from like 10 brothers and sisters. We’re not used to being lonely and by ourselves,” Real said.
People are encouraged to not be afraid to make similar connection themselves, whether it’s with a family member or someone in the community.
“So, when you sit down and talk to someone who has lived this long, beautiful life … You’re gaining from it and you’re giving them a smile,” he said.