Being alone is hard, especially if you are used to connecting with friends and family. Many older adults talk about how much they miss their activities, their routine, and, of course, hugging grandchildren.


AGE of Central Texas and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Central Texas is offering a free virtual course for older adults about how to deal with isolation. “Connecting Safely: How to Overcome Loneliness While Distancing” at 11 a.m. Thursday also will be recorded. RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/may-7-seminar


“The most recent statistics about social isolation say that 43 percent of persons over the age of 60 report feeling socially isolated, even before the coronavirus outbreak,” said Annette Juba, deputy director for AGE of Central Texas in a press release. “And although older adults are one of the most vulnerable populations in terms of exposure to the coronavirus, the effects of social isolation are being multiplied as the stay-at-home orders continue.”


“Humans are hardwired for connection,” said Karen Ranus, executive director for NAMI Central Texas. “At any age, we need social connection to stay healthy.”


The conference will talk about ways to maintain social connections virtually and how to stay mentally healthy while social distancing.


The conference also will include resources if you are having feelings of anxiety and depression during this time.


Local resources include:


Travis County: 512-472-4357 (Integral Care)


Bastrop, Elgin, Georgetown, Giddings, Gonzales, Hutto, La Grange, Luling, Marble Falls, Round Rock, Schulenburg, Seguin, Taylor: 1-800-841-1255 (Bluebonnet Trail Community Services)


Hays County: 1-877-466-0660 (Hill Country MHDD Centers)


NAMI Central Texas also has a list of mental health options listed online at http://namicentraltx.org/coronavirus.


AGE of Central Texas also offers an online portal of at-home activities for older adults to help prevent feelings of isolation, along with resources for family caregivers, at http://www.AGEofCentralTX.org.