The holiday season is an especially challenging time for many older adults.
With the current decrease in availability of Adult Day Centers and other senior programs, it is vital that other options be available to help reduce the isolation of elders who have difficulty leaving their homes.
Undoubtedly, there are numerous lonely seniors in the community who would benefit from daily conversation with others who share their interests.
Senior Center Without Walls (SCWW), an award-winning nonprofit telephone activities program, is an option for those seniors in California who are unable to go to a community senior center, and it is absolutely free. Participants call in from the comfort of their homes to join others in activities, friendly conversation, and an assortment of classes and support groups.
A primary goal of SCWW is the inclusion of isolated individuals as valued members of a community. Participants as well as elder volunteers have responded to surveys indicating the life-changing effect SCWW has had on the quality of their lives.
Joys of new friendships, new ideas, and new responsibilities have enhanced the quality of the seniors’ lives and improved their mental and physical state. Participants relate the exciting sense of having something to look forward to and someone with whom they can share.
“Senior Center Without Walls is really about removing the walls between us, creating connections on the phone with people who would otherwise not know each other. This is what the program has done for me and others,” according to Rita, a program participant.
Participants themselves are encouraged to facilitate groups if they have a desire and an ability to do so. A feeling of empowerment and of “giving back” to the community has been expressed by SCWW participants who choose to facilitate groups.
The SCWW program is a community made up of participants, staff, facilitators, presenters, and other volunteers who care about each other and who value feeling connected.
For more information or to register for this free phone program, phone toll-free number 877.797.7299 or visit www.seniorcenterwithoutwalls.org.