New Macomb CO Program Addresses Senior Isolation And Loneliness

Clinton Twp., MI - The Macomb County Office of Senior Services has launched a program to provide telephonic support to seniors 60+ living in Macomb County. The goal of the program is to increase overall health and well-being by addressing and decreasing feelings of senior isolation and loneliness.

“The idea really evolved at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis when we began outreach calls to senior residents to check-in and see if they needed anything," said Sheila Coté, director of the Office of Senior Services. "Many seniors asked if we would continue to call them regularly.”

Research indicates there are many chronic mental and physical effects of isolation and loneliness which have increased due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Friendly Caller Program was created to address the loneliness and social isolation experienced by many seniors, including those who are homebound. Some may not have family, friends or caregivers available to call or check-in regularly. In addition, there are caregivers who might appreciate the added support of someone who can touch base with their loved one.

Volunteers will contact seniors who have enrolled in the program on a weekly basis to provide an opportunity for seniors to converse, share stories, memories and/or concerns. The volunteer in turn offers support, social contact and reassurance. A volunteer may refer the senior to an advocate from the Office of Senior Services if the senior is in need of resources. The advocate will help link and coordinate services for the individual.

Interested individuals can register online at https://mca.macombgov.org/MCA-Seniors-FriendlyCaller or they can contact the Office of Senior Services at 586 469 5228 Monday-Friday between the hours of Noon and 4 p.m.

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