Jul 13

Conversation with a Friendly Visitor is just a phone call away

Zach Strecker listening on phone in his role as a Friendly Visitor for Springwell

Due to the risks of COVID19, seniors have never been more isolated, and need to hear that there are people in the community who care about them. To help keep everyone physically distanced yet socially connected, Springwell’s Friendly Visitor program has transitioned smoothly to tele-visits.

When Zach Strecker learned about Springwell’s Friendly Visitor program, he knew it would be a perfect fit for him. He was excited by the idea of conversing with an older adult, getting to know them and being a companion to them. Zach describes himself as a social person and felt that making a new friend was a wonderful opportunity.

Zach is a 2018 graduate of Harvard University and will soon start medical school at UMASS Worcester. Zach has always enjoyed spending time with older adults. His friendship with Patricia has helped him grow as an individual. “Patricia has moved around a lot in her life. She has shown resilience in adapting to change. It is inspiring and has helped me to cope with change in my life,” shares Zach. He has learned from Patricia about challenges of being primarily homebound and hopes to further the use of telemedicine in his future career as a physician to make medical visits easier for older adults.

While Patricia has lived for many years in Massachusetts, she was born in New York and later lived in Pennsylvania. Her career path included working in a TV factory, an insurance office, a law office and providing hazardous waste licensing for transporters and facilities. Patricia also loves astrology and music. She studied both piano and voice with a concert pianist.

Patricia looks forward to her regular phone conversations with Zach. She describes him as a “wonderful person and a good listener. It is nice to have someone to talk to. I am always interested in people and have gotten to know him well.” Patricia enjoys talking with Zach about his family and his girlfriend. “They are important to him, so I appreciate that he shares this with me. I was also so touched one day when I called Zach and he answered, ‘hello Patricia.’ It is so nice that he has my name in his Contacts. With Zach as my Friendly Visitor, it is as if it was just meant to be.”

Will you help Springwell address the chronic and now aggravated issue of senior isolation by becoming a Friendly Tele-Visitor? Developing a one-on-one relationship with a senior in our shared communities will make a big difference by helping to alleviate their loneliness.

Springwell Friendly Visitor Volunteers are matched with isolated older adults in Belmont, Brookline, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, and Weston. If you enjoy meeting new people and sharing conversation and stories, this program is for you! Learn more here or by emailing volunteer@springwell.com.