by Madeline Crowell, RN, Nurse Case
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode
you know there is something you can do to improve your health this holiday
season that doesn’t require dieting or exercise, but will make you feel great?
shows that reaching out to your neighbors – whether it’s helping out at a food
bank or soup kitchen, or even inviting an elderly neighbor for supper – boosts
mental health and wellness. How so? Socializing with others can decrease your
risk of loneliness and depression. Moreover, you will receive a natural
confidence boost and an increased sense of purpose.
is also known to improve your physical health. It is likely that you will be on
your feet or performing some kind of physical activity, which leads to stress
reduction and lower blood pressure.
Now is the time to help
the holidays – often associated with festive meals and quality time with family
members – can be a struggle for those who suffer from hunger, loneliness, and
and hunger in Rhode Island have increased to 6.1 percent – the state’s highest
level in 10 years. In addition, African American households are
disproportionately affected by hunger. According to the USDA, rates of food
insecurity (where a household does not have access, at all times, to enough
food for an active, healthy life for all household members) in African-American
households was 22.5 percent compared with the national average of 12.3 percent.
issues are often amplified for the elderly population. According to the AARP,
more than 10 million older adults struggle every day with limited or no regular
access to affordable and nutritious food. Statistics from the Administration on
Aging in the Department of Health and Human Services show that in 2016, 29
percent of noninstitutionalized older persons lived alone, with almost half of
older women 75 and older (46 percent) living alone.
holiday season is the perfect time to get involved to help those who are less
fortunate, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has a
number of resources and suggestions for those who wish to open their hearts and
homes this time of year:
has partnered with state agencies to create Second Act, a new program that
connects our BlueCHiP for Medicare members with volunteer opportunities. Read
our post on the Rhode Ahead to learn more: http://www.rhodeahead.com/medicare/live/second-act-our-new-volunteer-program
Rhode Island (https://www.serverhodeisland.org/), the
state’s volunteer center, runs a database of volunteer opportunities.
the many organizations looking for volunteers this season are the Rhode Island
Community Food Bank (http://rifoodbank.org,
401-942-6325) and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (http://www.mlkccenter.org/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/,
401-846-4828) to fill holiday food baskets and serve as greeters and guides at
the center’s Santa’s Workshop.
a meal with an elderly neighbor will help them combat feelings of loneliness
and isolation, as well as provide them with a healthy and nutritious meal.
is committed to making the Ocean State a better place to live, especially
during this time of year. Take the time to reach out to your neighbors this
holiday season – you’ll feel better in so many ways.