Checking up on Chesterfield seniors

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - For more than 20 Chesterfield seniors, it's their only reassurance that someone in the community cares during these hot summer months. And it's something as simple as a phone call.

Volunteers call seniors twice a week. They chat about everything from weekly plans, to the next doctors visit.

At 81-years-old Inez Johnson can still belt out a tune. But sometimes no one's there to listen.

"Sometimes you can be feeling so very lonely, especially on a day when it's a dreary day," said Inez.

But every Monday and Thursday she talks music with a volunteer.

"It's a wonderful feeling to know that when you get to be an older citizen, you have people caring for you," she said.

"I spoke with one this morning. She had fallen- you know that is a concern," said Linda VanAken, Telephone Reassurance Volunteer.

Linda VanAken calls 21 seniors during her shift. When she can't get a hold of them, the director will call, and when she had no luck an emergency contact is notified. Right now, conversations can lead to things like free fans.

"We can hook them up with the resources and let them know where they can go for those services," Linda said.

You can bet Inez Johnson is singing its praises.

"And it's like sunshine. It really is like sunshine," said Inez.

"We were laughing with a person I was speaking to. She said, 'You just made my day. I've gotten to laugh today,' and any day you can have that kind of emotion, it's a good day," Linda said.

Chesterfield County Telephone Reassurance Program: 768-7878

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