Local Briefs MA News

TAP-In Provides Connection for Seniors

SPRINGFIELD – Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts (JFS) and the Springfield Jewish Community Center (JCC) are jointly launching a new telephone assurance program, TAP-In!
TAP-In is a “good cheer” phone call network for elders living in Springfield, Longmeadow, and East Longmeadow, designed to help reduce isolation and loneliness.
Weekly phone calls by trained volunteer TAP-In! “Telebuddies” enable seniors to “tap-in” and stay connected to the community.
In six weeks the TAP-In! Program has recruited15 telebuddies to the first TAP-In! telebuddy training seminar. These volunteers range in age from 40 to 80 plus years old. At the training session, Donna Gordon, JFS Clinical Director, led a spirited discussion on what it means to be an active listener. “Communication is not only talking, it involves listening,” she told volunteers.
Those eligible to be TAP-In! participants are adults aged 60 and over living in Springfield, Longmeadow or East Longmeadow, who would like to receive a “good cheer” phone call from a community member. These phone calls offer the participant an opportunity to share about his/her week and receive information about social, recreational and other programs and services in the community.
“Having a telebuddy helps elders socialize on a regular basis with someone who truly cares,” said Carlin Trietsch, director of Adult Services at the JCC. “TAP-In! participants will get information to help them stay connected in the community while meeting their individual needs and interests.”
Telebuddy volunteer phone callers are caring compassionate people, aged 40 plus, who enjoy interacting with elders. Volunteers are  invited to attend a professional TAP-In! telebuddy training workshop at JFS and JFS will also organize quarterly training seminars to allow telebuddies to share their experiences and learn more about communication, elder needs and strengthening the community.
For more information about being a TAP-In! telebuddy volunteer phone caller, contact Nisa Joy Zalta at JFS at (413) 455-1836, ext. 106 or email her at n.zalta@jfswm.org. For more information about being a TAP-In! participant and receiving a “good cheer” phone call, contact Carlin Trietsch at the Springfield Jewish Community Center at (413) 739-4715, ext. 325 or email her at ctrietsch@jcca.org.

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