Chikasha Anokfilli (Thinking Chickasaw): Keeping Elders Connected

Date: June 03, 2024

Elders share their stories from the past to provide us insight for the future. Maintaining these connections preserves these meaningful moments and protects the mental wellness of elders.

Loneliness and social isolation are serious public health issues often experienced by adults aged 65 and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these can significantly increase the risk of premature death, dementia, heart disease, depression, suicide and more. By staying in contact with our elders, we can help them make connections to build a foundation for better mental wellness.

If distance is an issue, a simple phone call, text message or even written letter can help everyone stay in touch. Additionally, you can encourage the elder in your life to participate in local programs to stay healthy, active and engaged.

The Chickasaw Nation has several programs that benefit elders, like the senior centers program, Wisdom Walkers, Chickasaw Warrior Society, chore services and more. These services foster positive interactions and a sense of community. The Native American Caregiver Program also assists families caring for an older relative with a chronic illness or grandparents raising young children to meet their mental wellness needs.

For a full list of programs and services for elders, visit Chickasaw.net/Services/Elders. For more mental wellness resources and a full list of support services, educational videos and more, visit Chickasaw.net/MentalWellness.