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Volunteers Mobilize to Combat Loneliness

Posted: September 15, 2017

We recently published the fall issue of Thriving in Community, JCHE's newsletter featuring timely stories and information. One of the stories is reproduced below. 

On the morning of June 20th, volunteers from Tufts Health Plan arrived at Shillman House, just in time to join our residents for coffee and conversation. After an orientation, they split into teams for a trivia match. It was a competitive and thrilling game, and throughout, friendly banter and laughter permeated the room. Real connections were being made.

Next, residents invited volunteers to their morning exercise class – a completely unplanned for invitation, and well received by our fitness instructor. The activities continued, with volunteers and residents painting pots and planting herbs together. Lively conversation continued, and by lunch time they were all looking forward to spending time together again soon.

Creating opportunities for our residents to meet new people and participate in engaging activities that give them a sense of purpose help to mitigate the effects of loneliness. This directly impacts their health and quality of life, as research demonstrates that loneliness can significantly increase the risk for heart attack and stroke and contribute to functional and cognitive decline in older adults.

Help us combat loneliness – volunteer at JCHE. Visit with some of our more isolated residents; teach English classes; leverage your passions and expertise to teach our residents something new.

To learn more about individual and group volunteer opportunities at JCHE, whether in Brighton, Newton, or Framingham, contact Kate White, Volunteer Program Coordinator, at kwhite@jche.org or 617-912-8488.

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