SunServe’s Phone A Friend program is off and running with a full head of steam. The goal of the program is to pair cohorts for a daily, friendly, phone conversation. The Phone a Friend program allows seniors to feel secure in knowing that someone will be checking in with them on a daily basis while allowing them to gracefully age in place. The unique aspect of the Phone A Friend program is that they senior receives a call from the same volunteer. This model allows the two participants to develop rapport and trust, which in turns leans to more conversations that are meaningful.
The feedback from both the volunteers and the seniors has been terrific. Our goal of connecting people together has had a positive effect on all the participants. Seniors feel like they are being heard; Volunteers are feeling like they are giving back to the community. This is a win/win for everyone many of these seniors and their families and friends feel as if this program will allow them to remain independent over a longer period and thus increase the overall quality of life.
I have learned through my Caregiving experience and ‘The Purple Jacket’ is that Empathy transmits hope and reality. Transmitting the theory of the empathic communicator to the SunServe Phone Tree provides hope, encouragement and friendship to those who might feel that they are left on the outside, looking in.
- Running On Empathy (psychologytoday.com)
- Compassion over empathy could help prevent emotional burnout (wired.co.uk)
- Volunteering: How Helping Others Helps You (bigfuture.collegeboard.org)
- HandsOn the Community: “Moving to the Music” Teaches Seniors New Moves (handsoninlandempire.wordpress.com)