Submitted by Orcas Senior Center.
Orcas Senior Center’s telephone-based Buddy Check-In program was conceived as a means of COVID prevention among seniors, who are, by definition, at high-risk for complications – and even death – from COVID-19. Designed and launched with urgency, the program reached out to nearly 2,000 Orcas seniors to offer them a lifeline to community support at the onset of social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine orders. Nearly 60 seniors accepted the offer! Having said goodbye to some senior buddies and welcome to others, today the program is serving about 50 seniors. These buddy relationships have proved to be rewarding for volunteers and seniors alike with many nearing or exceeding the seven-month mark!
“Volunteer Buddies” offer frequent and reliable check-in calls to their “Senior Buddies” to support self-isolation (which is still recommended for seniors), mitigate anxiety, distress and depression, act as a conduit to resources, and to bring early awareness to potential problems. If you are a senior and would welcome phone check-ins from a concerned and caring volunteer, or if you would like to volunteer to provide friendly regular check-ins by phone, please call John Slater at 360-919-9318 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.