(The Council on Aging Caring Connections program matches volunteers with seniors who would appreciate a weekly phone call and camaraderie | Photo courtesy of Council on Aging)
The Council on Aging of Central Oregon today announced that its Caring Connections program was featured in a segment on Oregon Public Broadcast’s (OPB) Think Out Loud daily show. With the Council on Aging Caring Connections service, volunteers provide companionship and social contact to older adults in the tri-county through weekly phone calls.
In recent years, the U.S. government has begun to explore the effects of senior isolation and loneliness. Research finds that loneliness is a growing epidemic with higher health risks than obesity and as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Research also shows, even though technology enables us to be one-click or call away from connecting with a loved one, that as a society, we are lonelier than ever.
“Many seniors in our community are isolated and lonely,” said Susan Rotella, executive director of the Council on Aging. “Senior isolation can have devastating effects physically, emotionally, and mentally and we decided, in the midst of COVID-19 and all its restrictions, to start the Caring Connections program to better support the growing number of isolated seniors in Central Oregon.”
Our Caring Connections program matches volunteers with seniors who would appreciate a weekly phone call and camaraderie. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, discover common interests, or just be there for an older adult that may be struggling with social isolation, especially during the past 16 months of restrictions due to COVID-19.
If you’re a senior interested in joining the Council on Aging’s Caring Connections program, becoming a volunteer, or know an older adult who would be a good fit for connecting with a volunteer weekly, call 541-678-5483.
For updates and news about services and resources for older adults in Central Oregon, visit the Council on Aging website at councilonaging.org or follow the Council on Aging’s Facebook page at facebook.com/CouncilOnAgingOfCentralOregon.