PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The countdown is on until you can share a meal with older adults in Baltimore County to help reduce social isolation in older adults.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski and the Department of Aging has announced the first ever “No Senior Eats Alone Day.”

The Pikesville Senior Center is embracing the initiative, which gives resources and activities to combat social isolation.

“It’s very easily to become isolated,” 93-year-old Dorothy Fineblum says. “I’m in a three-bedroom apartment in a high rise and it would be very easy for me just to stay there, but that’s not my mentality.”

Shirley Rhone has been in the Pikesville Senior Center for 10 years and says No Senior Eats Alone Day changes everything.

“Pikesville has changed me. It’s given me a reason to get up in the morning,” Rhone says. “It’s given me a reason to come out here and help other people. Pikesville is my life. This is me.”

Research shows when older adults share a meal, it can increase life expectancy and improve mental health on numerous aspects of their lives, something Director Laura Riley is promoting.

“We’ve been getting great promotion,” Riley said. “We’ve been getting partners who’ve been signing on so it’s not just our senior centers who will be hosting meals that day but the Community College of Baltimore County is joining, the library so other people see the value in it as well.”

Baltimore County has more than 190,000 senior citizens, and the Pikesville Senior Center offers them programs like fitness, meals and even wood shop programs to get them out of the house.

Rhone is emotional, yet excited.

“I think it’s a worthwhile cause.

No Senior Eats Alone Day is September 12. More information is available on the county’s website.

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