Tennessee volunteers check on people feeling lonely during isolation

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Staying at home due to social isolation can be tough and lonely, especially for the elderly.

The State of Tennessee wants to help with a new program to check on those who might be feeling forgotten.

The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability launched a new program Care Through Conversations.

The concept is pretty simple: spend a few minutes on the phone with a senior citizen, just checking in and seeing how they’re doing.

Volunteers will also ask about possible needs like access to food or a pharmacy.

Annalea Cothron, legislative liaison for the Commission on Aging and Disability, said the new program is just days old and already has dozens of elderly people ready to receive a call.

“People are wanting this,” Cothron said. “People are needing this. Folks in Shelby County, ya’ll are doing great. Ya’ll are awesome. We love working with you. But we do want to make sure that if or when the need arrives, that we have extra volunteers who are healthy.”

Taking the extra few minutes to pick up the phone and have a conversation could make a big difference during difficult times.

If you are interested in volunteering, there is a short background check.

Also if you would like a phone call, you can go to TN.gov/aging and click on the red button Care Through Conversation or call 615-253-4307.

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