Promptly reopen Peabody's Senior Center

Promptly reopen Peabody's Senior Center

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Reopen Peabody Senior Center started this petition to Mayor Edward Bettencourt Jr. and

The State and the City of Peabody's emergency order will be lifted June 15, 2021 and we ask the Mayor and City Councillors to promptly reopen the senior center. 

The discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on schools, restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses has been given attention, but virtually no one talks about the impact on local seniors and the senior centers.  For the most part, seniors are fully vaccinated, and elderly people have no external communication (social outlets) with other people.  Lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, working or attending classes from home, and general self-isolation to protect against COVID-19 have had a debilitating effect on many people who had trouble coping with the socially distanced impacts of the pandemic. This has been especially true for senior citizens. 

"Overall, 1 in 4 adults aged 65 and older reported anxiety or depression in August 2020, a rate that was relatively constant since the pandemic started in March of that year, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those rates were higher among older adults who are female, Hispanic, low income, in relatively poor health or who live alone." (1)

Additionally, anxiety and depression can have a long term impact on our seniors.  We pray that the resumption of normal activities can counter the cognitive decline.  Time is of the essence to resume full social interactions by reopening the Senior Center. 

"Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has highlighted the association between loneliness or the absence of social connections and worse physical and mental health, including anxiety and depression. Among older adults specifically, extensive research has documented the connection between loneliness and increased risk of premature death, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety and suicide, the foundation noted." (1)

The impact on anxiety and depression has been magnified in our elderly population.  It's time we allow them to make decisions for themselves and let them weigh the impacts on their mental health and physical wellbeing versus the risk of the virus especially since the vast majority in this age group are vaccinated.     

"Although it is currently unclear what the full extent of the effects of this pandemic will be, its negative impact on psychological well-being has become very evident. Early studies have already reported an increase in anxiety, and depression in the general population, especially those facing extended lockdowns. These effects are magnified in the elderly population due largely to stricter lockdowns, higher threat of illness, and loss of social support. Prior studies have also reported that even outside of crisis times, the elderly populations have relatively high rates of depressive symptoms, which is troubling in the face of evidence that those suffering from pre-existing mental health conditions have been most affected by the negative psychological consequences of lockdowns. While increased mental health problems in the general population may already be a cause for concern, these concerns go beyond psychological well-being in the elderly. Studies have shown that depression in the elderly is linked the subsequent cognitive decline, and risk of Alzheimer's Disease. This means that while many societies now face the immediate threat of increasing mental health concerns, the long-term effects could be devastating, as depression and stress result in the older generation facing hastened cognitive decline, and increased rates of Alzheimer's Disease. (2)

We respectfully ask the Mayor and City Councilors reopen the Senior Center for normal activities and following CDC guidance of mask use while taking public transportation and continuing mask use if non-vaccinated. 

Respectfully,

The undersigned petitioners

 

(1) https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/one-in-four-older-adults-report-anxiety-or-depression-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic/

(2) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.577427/full

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!