Summit County, OH – According to the Centers for Disease Control, the likelihood of needing hospitalization or even dying after contracting COVID-19 increases with age. For this reason, older adults are encouraged to severely limit their contact with those outside of their immediate household. The lack of socialization can lead to loneliness and depression, putting the individual at even greater risk to their health.
Two organizations in Summit County have joined together to lessen these feelings of isolation and depression for older adults. The Akron-Summit County Public Library (ASCPL) and Direction Home Akron Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities (DHAD) both serve this population in unique ways. ASCPL delivers information, knowledge, and entertainment to spur imagination; revitalize an individual’s mind; connect with resources; and engage with the world. DHAD promotes independence through providing resources to age at home. Together, the agencies are delivering programming to maintain the health and wellness of mind and body during the pandemic. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with DHAD in fighting the isolation many older adults experience,” stated Pamela Hickson-Stevenson, Executive Director at the Library. “Direction Home’s provision of computers and internet access will make it possible for older adults to discover and enjoy the extraordinary resources available to them with a Library card.”
Applications for library cards are available online or at any of the library’s 19 locations. A free library card introduces a whole world of books, classes, audio books, e-reader texts, and more. DHAD is providing older adults with the information and opportunity to apply for and receive their library card. Through a program called ConnectMeDHAD, Direction Home is delivering computers and internet access for older adults otherwise unable to afford or access such technology. ASCPL and DHAD are working together to provide education to older adults to learn how to use their computers to access library programs and use the internet to connect with loved ones.
“There are so many great offerings that older adults can benefit from at the Akron-Summit County Public Library in addition to books,” stated Matthew Reed, Sr. VP of Communication and Administration at Direction Home, “The Book-a-Librarian program that provides tailored recommendations and assistance and the classes on everything from art to history to wellness are just some of the many things the library has to offer. We’re honored to partner and share these resources with the older adults in Summit County.”
For more information or to apply for a library card, call 330-643-9000 or visit https://www.akronlibrary.org/account/library-card
 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)