Even though it’s doors remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SourcePoint in Delaware is still finding ways to reach out to older adults.
SourcePoint is currently collecting postcards from the community and will be sending them to members during the continued closure of the Enrichment Center.
Alison Yeager, SourcePoint’s director of communications & development, said Tuesday the idea spun off of the Meals on Wheels program.
“Our nutrition program administrator, Karen Pillion, brought forward the idea,” Yeager said. “Her team is planning to send our Meals on Wheels clients some small treats in August and adding the personal touch of a handwritten note would make it that much more meaningful. In fact, our leadership team liked the idea so much, we chose to expand it to include all of our in-home care clients.”
Yeager added she hopes the residents who get the cards are encouraged by them.
“We know this has been a tough year for everyone, and older adults in particular may be at higher risk for social isolation and loneliness,” she said. “We are honored to serve our community’s aging population, and we want them to know we care and are still here to help.”
Yeager said SourcePoint is asking the community to help contribute postcards. The cards can be mailed to SourcePoint at 800 Cheshire Road, Delaware, or dropped off at the main doors. She said the only limit is size, adding cards should be no bigger than 4 by 6 inches. Yeager said a small postcard, index card, or note card will all work.
“We’ve served over 1,500 local seniors this year so far and would love the opportunity to share some positive, heartwarming messages with them in what has turned out to be quite a unique, and often challenging, year,” Yeager said.
SourcePoint has also started offering Friendly Call for members to use if they are feeling lonely and want to talk to someone.
“Age-Friendly Columbus offers a similar program designed to help isolated older adults feel more connected,” Yeager said. “When everything started shutting down in March, including our Enrichment Center, we started brainstorming various ways to still connect with our clients, members, volunteers, and others in the community. We started offering online programs, but knew there were many in the county with limited or no access. The Friendly Call phone line seemed like a perfect fit for our community.”
The phone line is operated by three members of SourcePoint’s customer service team, which Yeager said is a positive because it means callers are speaking to someone they’ve met before.
“It’s all about fighting that feeling of isolation,” Yeager said. “To some extent, everyone has been more isolated this year due to the coronavirus, but for those older adults who may be living alone or facing additional personal challenges, a friendly conversation can make a difference. That’s what Friendly Call is all about.”
The Friendly Call line is available Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by calling 740-363-6677.
Yeager said SourcePoint has received no guidance from the Ohio Department of Health on when it can reopen. Until then, she said SourcePoint will continue to serve the older population in the county.
“In-home care services are still available to those who need them, and many community programs are available online or by phone or conference call,” Yeager said.
More information is available online at MySourcePoint.org or by calling 740-363-6677.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.