Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

To Combat Isolation, Minnesota Tribe Sets Up Pen Pal Program for Elders


NETT LAKE, Minn. –– In a tight-knit tribal community about 45 miles south of the Canadian border in Minnesota, the need for social distancing, coupled with the state's stay-at-home order, is taking its toll on the Bois Forte Band of Chippewas, especially their Elders.

Many Elders have voiced concerns about feeling isolated and depressed during the pandemic, which has now impacted the country for nearly half a year.

The pandemic has limited older generations' access to caregivers and loved ones. The Kaiser Family Foundation's recent tracking poll found that "older adults are particularly at risk for depression, which is often misdiagnosed and undertreated within this population. The prevalence of depression increases for those who require home health care or are hospital patients."


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