Loneliness is a serious problem for many individuals and it is especially prevalent within the senior population. JSA receives many calls from seniors who have no, or very few, social contacts. JSA is very much aware of how social isolation may lead to serious mental and physical deterioration. Thus the Organization has initiated regularly scheduled calls to shut-ins and lonely seniors. For the older person answering the phone the “Shalom Again” service is often a life-line and a connection to the community at large. Thus they achieve feelings of inclusion rather than exclusion and marginalization.
Volunteer callers undergo 12 hours of training, prior to contacting lonely or isolated seniors. The purpose of these calls is to keep in touch through conversation, and perhaps to learn vital information about the older person which may prove helpful when building a support system.
For some various social services may be appropriate; Peer Counselling and Friendly Visitor services may be suitable.