We’re excited to announce that Pinellas County Emergency Management Services (EMS), Fire and Rescue, and the Sheriff Department are now partnering with Seniors in Service through our Health Buddies initiative. First responders who frequently receive non-emergency calls from lonely seniors living with chronic conditions are receiving training to refer them for a Health Buddy.
Health Buddies are compassionate, trained volunteers who provide companionship, encouragement, and support through regularly-scheduled friendly phone calls.
The Sheriff Department reports that many seniors who are isolated frequently call 911 just because they’re lonely. But it’s not “all in their head”. Loneliness causes stress and anxiety that can cause chronic physical symptoms and mental wellbeing to worsen. In addition, the increased burden on first responders cost taxpayers well over $300K/year.
Health Buddies offer “companionship as medicine”, empowering isolated seniors with chronic conditions to improve social connection and self-manage their health so they can live independently.
Do you know someone who could use a Health Buddy? Refer a client or sign up to be a Health Buddy by clicking the button below!