LANCASTER, PA — With the CDC reporting that “nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated,” coupled with the winter blues associated with the season’s shorter and darker days, United Disabilities Services (UDS) has a new program to help foster connection.
Jeff McMenamin, Community & Customer Support Manager at UDS, has just launched a Wellness Call program so those who are alone or could use a friendly voice to talk to can stay connected, safe, and live more independently. During the pandemic, the organization noticed that callers would want to spend more time on the phone than usual. Realizing how much the pandemic further increased isolation for the aging community and those with disabilities, the idea for Wellness Calls was born.
With its program, UDS offers two types of calls. The first is Check-In Calls to make sure clients are comfortable completing daily living activities such as taking their medications and eating properly. During these calls, they also assess the client’s mood and any safety concerns in the home. The second type of call, Conversational Calls, are longer and provide more in-depth discussion about family, hobbies, current events, and more for a sense of connection. The Wellness Call service is still in its infancy stage—they currently have one client with several disabilities enjoying bi-monthly conversational calls discussing various topics of interest to them and their hobbies. Currently, they are looking into using grants and donations to help provide free Wellness Calls to those who can’t pay for them for a limited time.
McMenamin says, “With the rapid onset of technology making it easier to stay home, the risk of isolation is growing. It’s important to have services available for those seeking a social connection they may not have access to. The calls provide that security to give this growing population peace of mind that someone cares about them and is actively checking up on them.”
For more information, visit their website at https://udservices.org
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