“We are thrilled with this new partnership that will allow us to reach more lonely older adults and connect them, through the use of technology and social services, to their loved ones,” said Connections at Home Executive Director, Alex Kent.
The Verona-based Connections at Home New Jersey (CAH) provides local seniors with a free, easy to use computer or tablet, and pairs them with a social worker who is in contact with them via video chat on a regular basis. This gives them a friendly person to chat with, who can also help them with their social service needs such as housing, transportation, and access to medical care. The Montclair-based Human Needs Food Pantry serves 1200 households, including 230 home bound seniors who rely on volunteers who deliver bags of groceries to them on a weekly basis. Often these volunteers are the only people they will interact with all week.
This grant will allow CAH to offer their services to the Human Needs Food Pantry clients.
The National Institute of Aging reports that social isolation and loneliness has been linked to higher risks of a variety of physical and mental conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and more. It is a greater health risk than smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day or being obese or sedentary. This partnership is made possible through a grant from The Grotta Fund to CAH.