AUTHOR: Melissa Bottorf, PA Lead Link Coordinator
AGENCY: Aging and Disability Resource Center
Even the most snow-loving people have to admit that the Winter Blues can be a real thing. It is cold, and it gets dark so quickly, and we are all hunkered down a little more than usual. For many people, including seniors, this time of year can feel really isolating and lonely.
Over the last few years, especially when the pandemic was really at its worst, PA Link to ADRC was fortunate to receive a special grant to help seniors with social isolation. Many times we don’t consider ourselves socially isolated, but we may feel a smidge lonely. Maybe we think it would be nice to have an interruption during those daily game shows or constant news programming. And, maybe it would be nice to wake up from a nap to a ringing phone with a familiar voice.
How it Works
Anyone over the age of 60 who lives in our 9 counties can register for a free check-in phone call from a local volunteer or a peer senior. The senior or a loved one can complete the enrollment form on our website or call 570-428-3521 to find out about interests, convenient times, and other details. Then, PA Link will make a match.
What to Expect on the Call?
There is no standard script or questions expected during these phone calls. They are simply intended to be a friendly voice on the other end. We want to build rapport between callers.
We do not give out phone numbers and want to be as safe as possible. Everyone in the program will dial our special PA Link Check-ln Line to automatically be connected to their friend. No phone numbers, addresses, or last names are disclosed.
If a match doesn't work or feel right, it will be discontinued immediately. NO QUESTIONS ASKED!
Who Can Volunteer?
Anyone from the ages of 18 -118 can register to become a volunteer. We will do our best to match callers based on geography and interest. Volunteers are asked about their schedules and how often they would like to make calls. What has been really great about this program is that seniors can also call other seniors so it has evolved into a peer program too!
[Bottorf is the PA Lead Link Coordinator for the Aging and Disability Resource Center. She covers nine counties, including Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Columbia and Montour. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]