Board game day hosted to combat isolation

Board game day hosted to combat isolation

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By Emily Widgren and Hannah Zalewski

In their Exploring Global Issues class, seniors Eva Ciaramitaro and Erin Kaled are combating the isolationism brought on by technology and phones and hosting a board game day for teens and the elderly on Jan. 20 at Central Library.

“I can see how technology has influenced isolation with the different generations and there’s a fact that by 2020, isolationism will be one of the biggest health issues and no one will be taking to each other because their phones will isolate them,” Ciaramitaro said.

During their required 20 hours of work on this project, Kaled and Ciaramitaro came up with the idea to host a board game day, which will allow people who are isolated because of the winter to leave their house and connect with others in the community. They are working with the charity Connecting Communities alongside their mentor, Suzy Berschback, who wanted to help teach kids the impact of isolationism and its health effects.

“My role as a mentor is to offer the group a variety of issues in the community that they could work on and challenge them to come up with creative ways in which to respond,” Berschback said. “A colleague of mine I work with on the community health coalition asked me if I thought the issue of isolationism was a good thing to discuss with the students, and I thought it was.”

Many senior citizens isolate themselves due to a bigger health issue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 15 percent of adults above the age of 60 suffer from a mental disorder, such as depression or dementia. Along with the mental disorder comes self-induced isolationism.

Among young adults, detachment is brought on by technology and social media. According to a study done by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34.8 percent of 19-23-year-olds have a high perceived social isolation rate due to copious amounts of time spent on social media.

The idea to hold a board game day would prompt young adults to shut down their phones for a couple hours and allow senior citizens to come out of their homes for a small amount of time to play a game.

“We’re focusing on combining and getting more interaction between older generations and newer generations,” Ciaramitaro said. “This board game day is just to get everyone together that we can in the community by putting them in Starbucks shops and local businesses, and we’re just going to play board games with the different generations.”

Berschback hopes that board game day will have an effect on Grosse Pointe and combating the increasing rate of isolation in the generations.

“I hope it would be the first of an annual event. The idea in this class was to challenge students to come up with a multitude of ideas that we could continue implementing in the community,” Berschback said. “For instance, board game day could be done by the local libraries or other local groups but certainly helps to have student help. We hope to continue it.”