Aging Well in Waldo County offers free program

BELFAST — Falling temperatures and first snowstorms remind us that winter is almost here. Add the almost two years of a pandemic that’s kept many of us from our usual activities, and you have a perfect storm of social isolation, especially among our older residents.

Aging Well in Waldo County, an organization formed in 2016 to mobilize the community to address the needs of aging friends and neighbors and to strive for inclusive, supportive and safe communities for all, is addressing the social isolation felt by many of our seniors with several initiatives, including Waldo Calling, a volunteer program that began at the start of the pandemic in 2020. 

Over 40 volunteers were enlisted to call all Waldo County residents, age 70 and over, to check in and offer conversation and assistance. Most of those who were called reported that their needs were being met by family and friends, but others needed information (at the beginning of the pandemic: where to buy masks; which grocery stores delivered) and assistance, and a number accepted the offer of weekly phone calls “just to chat.”

Volunteers are still checking in with these seniors and report that several friendships have been formed.If you know of a homebound senior who could benefit from this program, or if you would like to volunteer to call one or two seniors on a regular basis, please email AWWC’s Waldo Calling Coordinator Deborah Shepherd at debkshep@gmail.com.