Your gift will help alleviate isolation for vulnerable seniors, providing them with personal connection and support while offering volunteer opportunities and mentorship to youth!
SeniorConnect alleviates social isolation among seniors and enhances the well-being of this vulnerable population, while simultaneously allowing students to benefit from their elders' wisdom and experiences. We train and empower high school and college students to provide often-isolated seniors with personal connection through regularly-scheduled phone calls and meaningful conversations. This one-to-one connection supports the mental health of all participants and forms relationships that bring generations together.
We are currently raising funds to help 300 seniors get personal connection and support by the end of 2021. We are partnering with the YMCA and other senior-serving organizations, and with Enactus, a group of college students at University of Houston and Houston-area high schools, to provide elders in our region with this opportunity to gain one-to-one connection and support at no cost to them.
We LOVE seniors!
We created SeniorConnect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to make a difference for isolated seniors. In Spring of 2020, we were working in person with seniors, teaching them therapeutic art, yoga, and tai chi. As the pandemic took hold, we were unable to see our seniors and they were isolated in their rooms. Knowing we still wanted to help them, and seeing how many more seniors COVID forced into further isolation — then learning about the increased senior suicides in our area — we started SeniorConnect to help stop this slide and create more positive outcomes for our elders. We started training and matching college students with seniors to engage in meaningful 30-minute conversations each week by phone. What we found in one semester is that it not only makes a difference for the seniors; it also makes a difference for the students, helping them improve their interpersonal skills and confidence. So it became a truly intergenerational program.
All students are vetted and trained to ensure their commitment to the program, genuine interest in engaging with senior adults, and empathetic skill in facilitating meaningful conversations. SeniorConnect also allows students to fulfill their academic requirements for community service during a time of social distancing while also bridging the generation gap.
In our pilot group, we had an 85% success rate. Seniors said they felt younger and had more vitality after their calls; and the students said they learned interpersonal skills that have helped them become more confident in work interviews and networking. Out of our success with the students and the seniors, we know that the seniors feel valued. They are appreciated and having them experience themselves as valued brings them vitality. The same goes for the students: When they feel valued by our seniors, they are encouraged and excited to contribute, and they thrive. Some seniors and students have even continued their relationship after the semester ended.
We have already helped over a hundred seniors and students. With your help, we can serve 150 new senior and student pairs in 2021, ramping up to 600 seniors and students total by the end of the year. Throughout the program, there will be continuous checkpoints to ensure the success of the program for all participants.
Senior Testimonial: "SeniorConnect has connected me with the new generation. Interacting weekly with Scott has made me feel younger because of our fun conversations. I consider him as a family because we share similar life experiences. We're able to express how it affects us and step out of our comfort zones. It's the highlight of my week, and I'm glad I was selected to be his senior."
Student Volunteer Testimonial: “I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I’ve had this semester to be part of this program. It was a fulfilling experience to share our time with them - especially during such a tumultuous year. I must be clear, though, that we were not the only ones sharing. The seniors have lifetimes of knowledge, experiences, and wisdom that touched me as I got to know them and their stories. I know that we’ve been capable of creating special moments for our senior adults and that they enjoyed this just as much as we have.”
AmazingBond helps seniors thrive. Our offerings improve health outcomes, lower medical bills and provide connection, giving seniors a future to live into.
AmazingBond offers transformative classes of therapeutic art, therapeutic and gentle yoga and tai chi to seniors and caregivers. And they get proven results!