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Threat of COVID-19 Goes Beyond Infection for QC Seniors

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Today, two more people died of COVID-19 in the Quad Cities. Both were over the age of 80. The coronavirus continues to pose an elevated threat to seniors, but it's not just a positive test result that has their doctors worried.

Jen Boedecker, a clinical instructor at St. Ambrose University, says social isolation was a serious health risk for older adults before the pandemic. Now, the situation is worse. She says it increases the risk of dementia by 50% and leads to higher rates of depression and suicide. 

"So, what can we as a community do? I think first and foremost... just check in on our older adults, whether it's a neighbor or a friend or someone you go to church with. So, I think as much as we can, whether phone or email or zoom or facetime, just connecting with these older adults and checking in on them frequently."

Boedecker says staying active is also important—especially now that the simple exercise of going to the grocery store has become risky. She says even something small like walking around the house can make a difference. 
 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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