Guest Contributor

Social connections are important no matter our age. For many older Tennesseans, social isolation is a complex issue affecting their health status and quality of life. The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability has new support programs to help the state’s older adults who are facing social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Care Through Conversation program helps ensure older adults’ needs are met through a regularly scheduled telephone call in which a volunteer conducts a needs assessment coupled with warm conversation to affirm the participant is mentally and physically safe. At minimum, volunteers conduct one call a week but additional calls can be requested.

To register someone who could benefit from a Care Through Conversation phone call, click Care Through Conversation (tn.gov) or call 615-253-4307. To volunteer, click Volunteer Opportunities (tn.gov).

The Tennessee Care Messages program asks volunteers to write letters with stories and words of encouragement that are mailed to senior center participants and nursing home residents. To write a message, click Tennessee Care Messages (tn.gov).

The Tennessee Cheer Line program is a toll-free telephone line offering a recorded message with trivia questions, interesting facts, jokes, or music to bring a little cheer to adults of all ages during this difficult time. Call 833-919-0840 anytime you need some cheer!

If you have questions or want more information, contact tn.aging@tn.gov.