Health

People Can “Adopt A Grandparent” To Combat Loneliness During Coronavirus

The virtual volunteer program is meant to help lonely seniors, many of whom must socially distance during the pandemic.

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A UK campaign is combating elder loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic — which other countries could consider to help their most vulnerable populations. 

The “Adopt A Grandparent” campaign was created by CHD Living, a nursing home company with 13 locations near London.

“We launched our ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ campaign to bring a sense of comfort to young people and the elderly who may not have grandparents/grandchildren of their own, with the aim of creating long-lasting intergenerational friendships,” the company explains on its website

The campaign, which originally sourced volunteers locally, has since expanded globally with the organization extending the application to “virtual volunteers.”

Health experts have warned that people 65 and older are particularly susceptible to develop severe symptoms or die from COVID-19. Elders, especially those in nursing homes, have been encouraged to be extra cautious.

“The nature of care means that we’re looking after some of the most vulnerable members of society at the moment,” CHD Head of Hospitality, Communications & Commissioning Shaleeza Hasham said in a press release. “We are however keen to keep spirits in the homes high and so have been thinking of ways that we can continue to enrich the lives of our residents whilst providing them with stimulation and companionship.”

Those interested in volunteering can apply via a form on CHD’s website, which asks about your general information, as well as three of your interests. Once paired with an elder, you can chat via phone or video, as well as send pictures, postcards, and letters.