“Just a chat: Calls offered for older adults staying home” – Associated Press

calling seniors“Dell Kaplan, 81, talks on her phone if front of her home in Plano, Texas Friday, May 15, 2020. For Kaplan, the offer to get calls from a stranger just to chat while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic was immediately appealing. “It gets pretty lonely here by yourself,” said Kaplan, a suburban Dallas resident who has been missing meals out with friends, family get-togethers and going to classes at a nearby college. The program being offered by the city of Plano is among those that have popped up across the U.S. during the pandemic to help older adults with a simple offer to engage in small talk.” (AP Photo/LM Otero)

by Janie Stengle

“DALLAS (AP) — For 81-year-old Dell Kaplan, the offer to get calls from a stranger just to chat while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic was immediately appealing.

“’It gets pretty lonely here by yourself,’ said Kaplan, a suburban Dallas resident who has been missing meals out with friends, family get-togethers and going to classes at a nearby college.

“The program being offered by the city of Plano is among those that have popped up across the U.S. during the pandemic to help older adults with a simple offer to engage in small talk.

“‘It’s really just to give them a social outlet that they might not have otherwise,’ said Holly Ryckman, a library support supervisor who is among about 15 staffers from several city departments in Plano who together have been making about 50 calls a week starting in April.

“Brent Bloechle, a library manager who helped organize the program, said the city plans to keep it up through at least mid-summer, and maybe permanently.”

Read this AP article in its entirety; click here.

 

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