Providers of aging services are seeking to expand programs that address social isolation in the pandemic, including volunteer models like Friendly Calls.
To help, the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY), and DOROT have partnered on training videos (see the complete series on YouTube) and an accompanying manual to expand the development and growth of these outreach programs locally.
More About Friendly Calls
The Friendly Calls Program connects volunteers ages 18 and over with “friends” through weekly telephone conversations that foster connection, reduce social isolation and cultivate relationships between participants. “Friends” include older adults, individuals with disabilities and caregivers who sign up to receive weekly 20-to-30-minute calls from a volunteer for 8 weeks, which can be extended if both individuals express interest. Participants and volunteers are screened for appropriateness before being matched. Each agency offering Friendly Calls will designate a staff member or experienced volunteer to take responsibility for organizing and administering the program.
Explainer Videos for Prospective or Registered Volunteers
Friendly Calls Training Part 1: Make New Friends Over the Phone
Friendly Calls Training Part 2: Making a Connection through Effective Communication and Active Listening
Friendly Calls Training Part 3: Building a Relationship through Engaging Phone Conversations
Friendly Calls Training Part 4: Expectations & Boundaries