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Happy Calls provide seniors with interaction during isolation

Call topics range from hobbies to pets and everything in between.

The elderly are some of the most at risk for COVID-19, so keeping them in isolation has been essential.

While being locked away can lead to loneliness, sometimes a simple phone call is enough to boost their spirits.

"It means that somebody still cares outside of the family," says 82-year-old Beverly Artlip.

Artlip lives on her own in Grand Rapids and doesn't get to see her family much because of the pandemic, which is why she's thankful she has another one in Care Resources.

"I love Care Resources, I miss them they're like family," explains Artlip.

With social distancing keeping caretakers away from the seniors they serve, Care Resources has turned to making phone calls. Welfare and health checks are standard, but the workers felt like they needed something more.

"They said if I don't have someone to talk to I feel alone," says Susan Pence, transportation coordinator for Care Resources.

So now, Pence makes "happy calls."

The calls aren't about your health or if you need supplies. They're casual and about anything.

"Their hobbies, things they like to do, their pets," describes Pence. "You know, making sure that they have some type of interaction with us so they know we're still there."

She makes these calls three times a week, and has one goal each time she picks up the phone.

"We make them feel like family," says Pence.

Care Resources also sends out what they call busy bags, filled with things like crossword puzzles and books, to keep the seniors entertained at home.

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