“What time?” you maybe asking. It is time to begin welcoming folks in your communities back into senior centers and congregate meal programs. It is time to send the loud and clear message to them that it is time to “Come Back!”
Daily news reports from across the nation are spreading the good news that states are “opening up.” Restaurants are no longer limiting their services to take out or delivery only, or even to limited seating. They are back in full swing. Across the country, comraderie and joyful get-togethers are taking the place of dark days indoors and social isolation. Winter has passed; spring is here; it is time to get out and about.
As welcome as that news is, we know that in some cases people are going to be reticent to take that step. And many of those folks are likely to be seniors. In fact, in this blog space over the course of the past several months we have written about the very real and deleterious impact that social isolation has had on many of our seniors — and particularly about how that sometimes has translated into their reticence to begin venturing out again. We know we aren’t alone in this concern and we imagine that many of you share it.
So did the Division of Aging Services (DAS) of the Georgia Department of Human Services, which reached out to NFESH to help find ways to address it. Together we have. NFESH has produced a full-blown media campaign and toolkit for Georgia not only to announce that senior centers are open again or will be soon, but also to encourage elders in communities throughout the State to “Come Back!”
The “Come Back” campaign that NFESH produced for Georgia consists of a complete tool kit with a variety of “broadcast-ready” items that can be used in any and every communication medium to reach out to seniors in the community. It includes Georgia state-customized and logoed templates for newspapers, newsletters, and Facebook and Twitter posts. But the outreach materials are not limited to print and on-line media. Also included are broadcast-ready Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for both radio and television.
We are proud of Georgia for the foresight and leadership it has demonstrated in calling on NFESH to develop and produce this important campaign. They know, as we do, that there is no more important message they can deliver to seniors than the welcome and encouraging words the “Come Back” campaign will deliver.
We know, too, that there are some seniors in every state who need a gentle nudge to reassure them that it is time to “come back” or will be soon when the senior centers are ready to reopen. If you would like more information on how to acquire the “Come Back” campaign customized for your state, please contact Matt Levine at [email protected]. We’ll be waiting to hear from you.