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Support Network For First Coast Seniors Expanded During COVID-19

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Marcio Jose Sanchez
/
Associated Press file photo

As the coronavirus pandemic leaves many elderly people without visitors, a Jacksonville nonprofit is expanding its social support network for seniors who live alone thanks to a new grant.

ElderSource CEO Linda Levin said her organization is getting $83,000 from the Community Care Corps, which is a national coalition of caregiver agencies, for its Caring Connections program, which matches older adults with volunteers.

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“They make calls, at least once a week, just to say hey, how’re you doing, check on them and provide some friendship, you know, over the phone as best they can, so the senior doesn’t feel so alone and isolated.”

Levin said the one year grant will allow Elder-Source to hire a volunteer coordinator and create questionnaires to assess seniors’ emotional and psychological well-being.

Caring Connections currently serves around a dozen senior citizens and Levin says she hopes to have 50 volunteers serving 75 seniors, thanks to the grant.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.