Home alone doesn’t have to mean lonely at home for senior adults who participate in the ShalomPhone program through the Mayerson JCC. This telephone assurance program is free, and involves trained volunteers who provide daily social and safety phone calls to senior adults, ages 60 and older. ShalomPhone offers senior adults the opportunity to make new friends, while also providing family members increased peace of mind.
“These calls serve two purposes; to check on safety and to provide social interaction,” said Susan Bradley, Senior Adult Program Coordinator at the J. “ShalomPhone works to eliminate some of the concerns facing those who may feel isolated in our community and allows them to remain independent.”
Many senior adults enjoy the opportunity to give back to their community by volunteering to make calls to fellow seniors. Volunteers are trained to communicate over the phone with someone who is hard of hearing, lonely or depressed, to meet the needs of the homebound seniors, and what to do if there is no answer. These volunteers also provide a vital service to the community. They observe changes in the health of seniors and also help protect those who are vulnerable to neglect or theft.
The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, many Cincinnati area synagogues, and the Fire Department of Reading utilize ShalomPhone as a resource to help area seniors stay socially connected and independent in their homes. This program has won the Jewish Community Centers Association award for Best Programs and Practices for Outreach. ShalomPhone is a program of the Mayerson JCC and is funded by a donation from The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation.
On Thursday, August 4, the JCC Senior Center will celebrate the accomplishments of almost 600 ShalomPhone and ShalomNet program participants. ShalomNet, another program offered by the Senior Center at the J, teaches seniors computer skills. The Annual ShalomNet and ShalomPhone luncheon will be at 11:30 a.m. in the Amberley Room at the J. New this year is a Tech Fair starting an hour earlier in which exhibitors will promote products and services aimed at enhancing the health and well being of technology savvy seniors. Seniors, their children or people interested in technology for seniors are welcome to attend this event. Reservations for the lunch must be made in advance, by Friday, July 29.
The JCC offers a vast array of Senior Life programs and events. Most are open to the public and require advance registration. For more information, contact Susan Bradley at the J. To view a complete list of JCC Senior Life programs, events, and trips, visit the JCC or their website.