Friendship Volunteer Network

The Friendship Volunteer Network was created in response to the current social isolation epidemic that's been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Volunteer Today

As COVID-19 continues to dominate the headlines, we thought it may be helpful to take a step back and consider some of the implications that may not be top of mind. Here is what we know about the virus:

  • There are more than 400,000 confirmed cases globally and nearly 17,000 confirmed deaths (WHO)
  • 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years old and older (CDC)
  • The mortality rate for those 85 years old and older in the U.S with confirmed COVID-19 is 10-27% (CDC)

With these unnerving data points, it’s no surprise that senior living communities are responding with drastic measures to keep their residents safe. Restrictions or full-on cancellation of visitors and group activities are among the most common tactics. This global pandemic is grave and should not be taken lightly or downplayed...but we also need to consider and keep in mind the risks that are associated with loneliness.

  • The health effects of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day (APS)
  • Loneliness can lead to “increased levels of stress hormones as well as a heightened risk for heart attack and stroke, dementia, and premature mortality” (AARP)
  • AARP Public Policy Institute estimates that social isolation is associated with $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending (AARP)

Ultimately, we need to work together to strike a balance. Keeping residents healthy - by both reducing the risk of them contracting COVID-19 and by offering opportunities for social engagement and connectedness.

Enter: The Friendship Volunteer Network

The simplest thing we can do is support each other, and one of the easiest ways to do that is through offering a friendly voice and some quality conversation. Know somebody who is stuck in isolation and could use a friendly checkin? Sign them up using the below form!

Or, if you have thirty minutes available, why not dedicate it to making someone smile? Anyone can help by taking a phone call, just sign up here.