WINCHESTER (CBS) – At nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state, many residents are lonelier and more isolated than normal, because visitors are not allowed. The rules are for their own safety during the coronavirus crisis.
A Winchester teen is helping some of those seniors feel more connected to the community.READ MORE: Capacity Restrictions To Be Eased For Restaurants, Venues And Weddings In Massachusetts
Ben Burns created a program he calls GenLynk, pairing teens and other volunteers with residents of the Aberjona Nursing and Rehab Center.
He matches the volunteers with residents and then they schedule a visit, either by phone or a virtual meeting platform like Facetime or Zoom.READ MORE: TD Garden, Fenway Park Can Open At 12% Capacity For Fans Starting March 22
Burns originally posted the idea last week on his town Facebook page. The response was positive – and immediate.
“Already I have 60 community members signed up, which is really amazing because it’s only been a week. I’ve been blown away by the response,” he said.MORE NEWS: 65,640 Minutes! Painfully Long Waits On Vaccine Website As Thousands Of New Appointments Are Filled
The next step – Ben is reaching out to other communities in an effort to help seniors in other towns who may feel isolated.