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A Toolbox of New Skills

Did you know that March is National Social Work Month? At DOROT, social work is at the heart of every program and service we offer to keep older adults socially connected and bring the generations together.

As we move into a third year of pandemic life, we reached out to a few dedicated DOROT social workers to learn what they’re hearing from older adults they connect with every day. In short, while there is a very real sense of weariness, it’s balanced by resilience, strength and a toolbox of new skills to help cope and thrive during this new normal.

Here are some of the common trends they shared:

Zoom Boom: It’s no surprise that Zoom continues to play an outsized role in the lives of older adults. While “Zoom fatigue” is hitting some, virtual programs continue to be a bright spot. Whether it’s a virtual visit to a museum, a concert, a class on the legacy of civil rights icons or mindfulness meditation, older adults are exploring new worlds on a daily basis. And for those seniors who had difficulty attending in-person events, Zoom events have been nothing less than transformative. Sign up for the Onsite@Home weekly newsletter by emailing

A Virtual Hug: For some DOROT seniors, the pandemic has provided a new opportunity to find and give support. Intimate, online support groups, convened by social workers, are helping to foster a comforting routine in these troubled times. In fact, seniors who may have never considered participating in an in-person group are finding a new level of social connection from their own homes. Learn more about support groups by calling 212-769-2850.

Helping Others: Volunteering is one of the best ways to find purpose in life. This is certainly true for many DOROT seniors who have found meaning through volunteering from home. From joining an intergenerational workshop, playing online chess with teens or forming new friendships over the telephone, volunteers aged 65+ are discovering that the benefits of volunteering are truly mutual. Learn more about volunteering, email

Trying Something New: Social workers also shared that older adults are taking this time to discover, or rediscover, new creative pursuits. Cooking, painting, diving into the world of podcasts, writing memoirs and creating photo albums and family trees are just some of the ways DOROT seniors are crafting their own silver linings during this time. Learn more about creative workshops, email

A few tips from DOROT social workers that benefit everyone:

  • Honor your own feelings! Remember to take it slow.
  • Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. They might be thinking about you, too! 
  • Step out of your comfort zone and try a new creative hobby. 
  • Not confident on Zoom? Contact a DOROT Tech Coach for 1:1 help at 917-441-3706.
  • Put your mental and physical health first. Don’t skip your regular doctor’s check-ups and reach out to DOROT for mental health resources at 212-769-2850.
  • Remember to get your COVID-19 booster and flu shot.
  • Be kind to yourself. We’re all doing the best we can!

Thank you to Jane Blumenstein, Daniel Jackson and Jackie Pykon.