Editor’s note: Just in time for Older Americas Month in May, APH VisionAware brings you this post about an exciting nationwide program for older people to help prevent social isolation and promote involvement.
Front Porch Community Services provides a great service to help older people stay connected “virtually.” With opportunities spanning one-on-one connection, group conversation, and arts programming, there is something for everyone, all through the phone or computer. Here are three of our services that you can connect with today. We are creating a place to share our joys, fears, tears, and laughter.
- Social Call: Your new friendship starts here. With great care, Social Call connects older people and volunteers throughout the United States for one-on-one conversations by phone or video. Social Call’s award-winning matching tool emphasizes finding the right fit for a new friendship, focusing on intergenerational matches. You can find a friend here if you enjoy philosophical conversations or debriefing the latest game. Looking for someone who values family like you? Yep, we’ve got it. What about a friend who is consistently positive or maybe a realist? Either way, we’ve got you covered.
- Well Connected is a virtual community that offers phone and online activities that build community through group conversations, games, and education. Yes, you got it right. It does say “phone” as well as online. We can re-imagine anything you can do in person in a virtual setting. For example, Neva Fairchild, National Aging and Vision Loss Specialist at AFB, has an upcoming program, Knit or Crochet Together. Beginners to experts who knit or crochet are invited to grab their needles, looms, or hooks and join a group of friendly yarn workers to chat while we stitch away for an hour.
- Ruth’s Table is an arts program committed to increasing access to creative opportunities for older adults and adults with disabilities, providing an inclusive and inspiring environment for creative expression and intergenerational connections. Ruth’s Table has weekly virtual arts programming available via phone or video, covering a variety of mediums and providing time to connect and share. No art experience is necessary; this is an accessible way to dip a toe in art-making or try new mediums in a supportive environment.
Registration is free for all programs. Register for each program through the links above, or call (877) 797-7299, or email [email protected]. Materials are available in large print, audio, text, and braille.
Volunteers Make Our Program
Did we mention we love volunteers? They make our world go around! We are looking for volunteers who want to make a new intergenerational friendship through Social Call. And in fact, volunteers run the Well Connected groups, including people who are blind or low vision. APH VisionAware’s Peer Advisors Audrey Demmitt and Empish Thomas are volunteer facilitators for an upcoming Support/Discussion for the Blind group. This peer-led group offers a safe environment in which completely blind participants can share the challenges they face and the successes they experience. Participants will also learn to live with blindness and gather resources. Front Porch also has a group for participants who are low vision. Join us! Email [email protected].