Senior Citizens, Inc. Seeking Volunteers for Friendly Caller Program

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Senior Citizens, Inc. (SCI), a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for area seniors, is seeking volunteers for a friendly caller program. The pilot program, which will consist of regular telephone check-ins, will provide remote socialization and combat social isolation for seniors in the Coastal Empire. The program is open to volunteers age 18 and older who have completed a background check.

“Although our programs and services quickly pivoted last March to continue serving seniors safely, COVID-19 has had catastrophic impacts on older adults’ connection to community, something we all need to survive and thrive,” said Patti Lyons, SCI president. “We are seeking volunteers who are willing to share one hour a week calling clients to check in, say hello, and make sure they’re OK.”

More than 9 million American seniors were living in isolation before COVID-19, and the physical distancing required to slow the spread of the virus has created an exponential increase in that number.  Social isolation is linked to an increased risk of a wide variety of health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and even death. In fact, lonely people are 50 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who maintain healthy social relationships. 

SCI’s program is being supported by a grant from Meals on Wheels America’s Caesars Foundation to cover the costs of volunteer recruitment, orientation materials, background checks, surveys to assess the program’s impact, games, puzzles, and books. Caesars Foundation is a private foundation committed to helping older adults live independently, maintain optimal health and nutrition, avoid social isolation, and enjoy mental and physical vitality. 

For more details on how to volunteer with the Friendly Callers program, please contact Jamia Bailey at jbailey@seniorcitizens-inc.org or 912-236-0363.