To address feelings of isolation and loneliness among older adults, NY group creates innovative approach


October 20, 2023

Bonnie Azoulay

Bonnie Azoulay Puja Malhotra, center, is the Isolation to Connection specialist at the Mid-Island Y JCC who helped Nora Leeds (l) and Saralee Baim (r) find services to ease the social isolation increasingly common among adults over age 65.

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. - Nora Leeds had lived alone for many years in her Long Island home, but it wasn't until the pandemic that she started to feel isolated.

She was used to working in a large office with coworkers, but then her work went fully remote. For four months, Leeds, now 69, could not see her daughter. She became increasingly depressed.

"I felt like my whole world was falling apart, like I no longer had the skills to interact with people because we were told to stay at home," Leeds said.

Leeds hardly represents a unique case. While the pandemic exacerbated the social isolation of older...

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