I am proud to say we doubled the number of connected seniors today!!
We had a very constructive meeting with Town leadership this morning and I wanted to send highlights. They are supportive of our efforts and confirmed we are not duplicating their efforts. I explained our intentions:
- Our goal is to outreach to seniors and assign volunteers by street. We are encouraging volunteers to connect with people to whom they have a relationship (e.g. neighbor, colleague, friend, indirect friend etc..).
- People will utilize their relationships to check in with high risk neighbors, make observations, make mail drops, direct people to Town resources or provide resource so that they can better shop online. All interactions are meant to be virtual.
- When complete, we hope to have recruited approximately 200 to 300 volunteers that are connected to 3000 seniors. We want to have a consistent check in process. This connections can support future Town efforts and keep people from feeling isolated.
- We are encouraging volunteers to sign up and be on call if needed to support food delivery and or shopping.
- We are using a simple script to outreach to seniors, make non-medical assessments and direct them to Town or commercial resources to meet their needs.
- We are documenting the connection between neighbors (Volunteer <–> neighbor) and when a check in has occurred. We will be checking in weekly, if not more frequently. We will not be documenting health information in our spreadsheet and we will use common sense when writing anything that could compromise someone’s privacy. When in doubt, don’t document; this is a semi-public resource. Any information collected will be shared with the CoA so that they can account for people for which there is no neighborhood relationship.
- In case we see something that is concerning, we are to make Town services aware so that trained and skilled people can get involved.
What we are not:
- We are not an extension of the duties of any Town Department including Fire, Police, CoA and BoH.
- Cold calls to people that are complete strangers outside of our neighborhoods.
I am reworking the wellness check recommendation. I am working with the Chief to identify the right instructions; stay tuned.
If it helps you manage your neighborhood better, I though it might be helpful to have neighbors put a green, yellow or red sticky in their window to let you know they are okay. It can facilitate a neighbor to neighbor check in process that might be easier on you as a volunteer.
Thank you for your hard work, as always, suggestions welcome.