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The program being offered by the city of Plano is among those that have popped up across the U. Brent Bloechle, a library manager who helped organize the program, said the city plans to keep it up through at least mid-summer, and maybe permanently. The people receiving the calls have various amounts of social interaction in their lives, Ryckman said. Many, she said, talk about relatives who are in touch, so her call might be just be "one piece of the puzzle" helping them stay engaged.

That's the case for Kaplan, who regularly talks with her daughter, granddaughters and friends, keeps up with people on Facebook and has been participating online in her adult-learning classes. But Kaplan said her biweekly chats with Ryckman give her something to look forward to "besides the usual. Laurie Onofrio-Collier has been making calls to older people across the U. Onofrio-Collier said her goal is for each person she calls "to feel uplifted, to feel good. Like the Plano program, the volunteers for the Friendly Voices program guide people to resources if they need help from local groups for things like getting groceries — AARP's Community Connections site lists groups across the U.

Onofrio-Collier bonded with one caller over a shared experience: "We ended up talking about how Miller said some people want help with technology so they can stay connected with their grandchildren. One volunteer helped a woman figure out how to play online checkers with her grandchild. Older adults are among those who are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from the coronavirus that causes COVID That's why health officials are encouraging people over 65 to stay home even as some states loosen restrictions put in place because of the pandemic.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, and the vast majority recover within a few weeks. Kaplan, who retired 11 years ago after more than two decades managing Plano's senior center, said she and Ryckman didn't know each other, but found common ground in talking about the city and dealing with isolating at home. Kaplan said that when she feels it's safe for her to venture to places other than the grocery store, she plans to visit the library and meet Ryckman in person.

Find out what's happening in Plano with free, real-time updates from Patch. Let's go! Onofrio-Collier said some people she has called live with a spouse, while others live alone. She said conversations touch on everything from hobbies to vacations to happy memories. Ryckman said the calls have been "a gift" for her. Thank Reply 2 Share. The rules of replying: Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated.

Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims. Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic. Review the Patch Community Guidelines. Reply to this article Reply. Replies 2 Show 2 replies.

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Just A Chat: Calls Offered For Older Adults Staying Home