Helping Seniors is introducing a new program called Staying Connected to reduce isolation in Brevard’s elderly population. The idea for the program comes from work we did at the Alzheimer’s Foundation in the late 1990’s. Each day, two volunteers from AARP called 20 people who lived alone to see if they needed help. Most often it just was a friendly chat, keeping the person connected to a name they recognized. I would sometimes sit and join the conversation. It was easy to hear the joy felt by the person on the other end of the line.
Now we are some 25 years down the pike. Has the need for such a program lessened? I do not think so. Are people more tuned in to text messaging, social media, and apps such as FaceTime? These are all great ways to communicate, but I think the need for a program like Staying Connected has actually increased. We have more elderly, more people living alone, and more need for interpersonal relationships, based on my own experience living in a rehabilitation center with people who did not have family or friends.
We need people in our lives. That phrase is the basis for the entire Staying Connected program. Isolation is not conducive for healthy living, a fact made all too clear by the recent nationwide bout with coronavirus. Consider the times when a call from you might have made a huge difference to an elderly person on their own and unable to drive. Just hearing a friendly voice for a quick chat means a lot to those who live alone.
Think about it – do you get frustrated when you get an automatic response to a call? Do you miss asking questions and getting replies from a live person? Progress is great, but we need to reestablish the person in the calling equation. So Staying Connected is now an official program of Helping Seniors. All you need do is call 321-473-7770 and Kim will get you enrolled on our call list.
We also need volunteers to make the calls. It would be especially helpful to have retired nurses, social workers, or people of a similar background who can dedicate a few hours a week to the program. The calling can be done from your home or an office setting, whatever is easiest for you. The number of seniors in Brevard continues to increase, so the need for this program will keep growing. Call Kim at 321-473-7770 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do need your help.
Contact Helping Seniors at 321-473-7770,
or at P.O. Box 372936, Satellite Beach, FL 32937.