RICHMOND, Va. -- Paige Wilson is convinced people crave human connection and in some cases, she believes it can be life-saving.
That belief is at the center of an organization she created in 2018, after caring for her aging mom who wanted to stay in her own home.
She realized there was a gap in resources for older adults who don't need medical care, but still need assistance in other ways.
She founded Naborforce, a resource for older adults and families.
"There are like 11,000 baby boomers turning 65 everyday for the next decade and in the next 10 years, the number of people over 65 will grow by 50%." said Wilson.
The organization pairs a senior is with a Nabor like DeDe Davis who steps in and helps with errands and small chores.
"It's a way for loved ones to get out and about and not be isolated, at home alone. Of course, we make sure they are masked up and social distancing. It's a win-win for everyone," said Davis.
During the pandemic, it's not lost on Davis or Wilson, the isolation and loneliness many older adults are experiencing.
"There's a study that says being lonely is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. That's how harmful it is to your health," said Wilson.
Davis, an artist, works just a few hours a week as a Nabor, and enjoys the benefits as well.
She says forging newfound friendships with seniors in her community definitely fills her cup, bringing peace of mind to families at a time when they're longing for it the most.
"I do think it brings them a sense of relief and security because they know that Paige does a good job of checking the backgrounds of all employees and they feel like their loved one is with a safe person," said Davis.
Since 2018, Nabors have logged 12,000 visiting hours, helping hundreds of seniors in Greater Richmond and Charlottesville. They have plans in the future to expand their service area.
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