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Rethinking visiting the sick in an age of mobile devices: calling the homebound

What could be simpler than a phone call? Yet it is exactly that phone call that can be a life-line for a homebound senior. Socially isolated older adults receive help in the form of a morning call from West Hollywood-based Jewish Family Service program Telecheck. It can be as simple as “How are you doing today?”

Gerry Feldman, 87, has been a Telecheck volunteer for about 13 years. She says she is happy to hear a voice on the other end of the telephone. “If a client seems not to sound well or complains about not feeling well, the volunteer will immediately report that to our office,” said Bronstein.

You might not have to look too far to identify someone in your own family who lives alone. Or you can call your local St. Vincent de Paul Society or Senior Citizens program to ask if they have people who could benefit from a call.

“The people I talk to are very lonely. It takes so little effort and time to make sure that they are okay,” Feldman said. “Some day I will get old and someone will call me. I get so much pleasure out of it.”

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