Social Isolation Resources
Online Resources to Stay Connected and Stay Well
LeadingAge New York has compiled a list of online resources for seniors and loved ones to use while practicing social distancing. We know that this is a difficult time. Social isolation is a growing issue for everyone, especially older adults that may be living alone or in a residential community.
Fortunately, many organizations are rising to the occasion and are offering free entertainment and virtual learning opportunities. We hope this guide will help you navigate the many online resources that are available to you. The resources linked below include online workshops, virtual tours of famous museums, live musical performances, mindfulness exercises and more!
Virtual Museum Tours
Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring you virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.
Below, we have linked you directly to 12 virtual tours and exhibits that were reviewed in an article from Travel and Leisure.
Tour World-Famous Monuments
If outdoor heritage sites are more your thing, Google has that covered, too. First, the search engine has a wide variety of landmarks you can visit through their street view, including Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, the Roman Colosseum and the Egyptian Pyramids. The platform also recently launched the Heritage on the Edge initiative, which features five Unesco World Heritage sites under threat from climate change. The project includes 3D maps, augmented reality features, and expert opinions on how we can protect these treasured landmarks.
Connect with Nature
Explore.org offers free live streaming of exotic locations and wildlife around the world; including oceans, African plains, animal sanctuaries and more. Click here to begin your exploration!
MUSIC & THEATER
6SQFT.com has published an article offering links to recordings of NYC based operas, theaters, concerts, and other live virtual performances. Some theatres are also offering classes or workshops. We have linked several resources below. Click here to check out 6SQFT’s full list of performances and classes.
CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Free Online Classes w/ Coursea
Free online college courses are also available with Coursea. Once you sign up, Coursea asks for your employment and education history so they can provide relevant course recommendations. Click here to join for free!
HEARTS - Holocaust Educational Arts
Holocaust Educational Arts is a virtual art gallery featuring the artworks of 17 Holocaust survivors. The artwork not only teaches us about the crucial history of the Holocaust, it also offers lessons on human resilience. The gallery has been cultivated by Selfhelp Community Services, and they invite you to share this with your friends, family, and community. It is free of charge and can be accessed on your laptop or smart phone. You can view the virtual viewing room here.
An interview with Fred Terna, a Holocaust survivor whose art is featured in the HEARTS virtual gallery, is also available on Selfhelp’s Holocaust Education website. His piece “Late Cloud” is a powerful reflection on Fred’s memory of Auschwitz chimney flames. Over video chat, Fred discusses everything from his personal history to what COVID-19 feels like for survivors.
Cooking with Survivors Series
Cooking with Holocaust Survivors is a video series that follows Holocaust survivors as they cook recipes that carry food memories from their lives before the war. Click here and scroll down to watch two free episodes online.
Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center
Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center (VSC) offers socialization, education, and recreation in a secure online environment. The VSC offers 25-35 weekly interactive classes on a wide variety of topics including health & wellness, current events, art & history, and more! Class participants can see, hear, and talk to each other, which creates an engaging and dynamic class environment. Joining this online community can increase overall well-being with lasting positive impact on physical and mental health.
Selfhelp is offering a free four-week trial to residents of LeadingAge NY member organizations! The Virtual Senior Center is available to participants who have their own computer, webcam, microphone, and internet set up in their home. Click here to join the waitlist and get started!
To access the free trial, residents must write “LeadingAge NY Member” in the “Referring Agency & Program” field in the google form. Once your fill out the form, Selfhelp technicians will respond to your request as quickly as they can. If the senior accessing the VSC is familiar with computers and can self-install the VSC without assistance, they can go ahead and get started. Otherwise, the Selfhelp team will review the inquiry and then work with residents directly to give access to the center and show them how to login and access classes. Click here to learn more about Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center.
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Mindfulness & Meditation
Headspace is providing a free series of mindfulness exercises, meditations, and sleep experiences designed for people that are trying to cope in this uniquely stressful time. The company’s new landing page reads, “from Buffalo to Long Island, Albany to the Lower East Side, this special NY collection of meditation, sleep, and movement exercises are here to support you through stressful and challenging times. Helping you — and your fellow New Yorkers — stay strong and be kind to yourselves, with a New York state of mind.” Headspace says the free offerings are the result of a partnership with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
To get started with headspace and begin accessing these helpful resources, click here.
Emotional Support Hotline
New York State has established a COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline. The hotline flyer and phone number is linked here.
Last Updated: 5/20/2020
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