Phone-A-Friend Program

The Phone-A-Friend project provides regularly scheduled calls for seniors who live alone or are socially isolated and have little or no contact with people outside their home. Calls are made by trained Phone-A-Friend volunteers. The goal of the project is to help prevent isolation, decrease loneliness, and provide a safety check for isolated, homebound seniors.

Phone-A-Friend is made possible through funding from a Kupuna Aging in Place grant through the Hawai`i Community Foundation’s May Templeton Hopper Fund and Minnie K. Fund.

Program Eligibility

Do you or someone you know need Phone-A-Friend? You may be eligible to receive calls if you:

  • Are age 65 and older (Age restrictions are currently flexible due to COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Live on Oahu
  • Live alone or are socially isolated
  • Have temporary or permanent health problems that prevent you from participating in activities outside of your home
  • Would enjoy speaking to someone on a regular basis and having a connection to the outside world
  • Would benefit from a regularly scheduled call to make sure you are okay
  • Are able to use a telephone or cell phone and be home to accept scheduled calls from a Phone-A- Friend volunteer

Seniors interested in participating in the project may contact us by calling our Senior Intake Line at 527-4777. Family members interested in learning more about the program and referring agencies may also contact us this number.

Be A Volunteer Caller to Our Seniors

We are currently seeking volunteers to be a part of our Phone-A-Friend program. Phone-A-Friend volunteers provide telephone wellness checks and social connection for homebound, low income seniors. Volunteers are assigned to one or more homebound seniors and make calls on a routine basis.

Volunteer Requirements

Education & Experience:

  • Education sufficient to complete required reporting requirements
  • Some experience relating with older persons on a formal or informal basis

Physical & Mental Abilities:

  • Be age 18 or older
  • Appreciates and enjoys working with seniors who are homebound, often lonely, and may have multiple communication challenges (e.g hard of hearing, limited English, etc.)
  • Is responsible and reliable to ensure that calls are made as scheduled in order to ensure the safety of senior(s)
  • Able to maintain relationship and ethical boundaries as prescribed by program
  • Able to maintain confidentiality of the clients’ situation
  • Able to communicate positively with seniors, consistently projecting an open, warm and caring posture
  • Is friendly, patient, a great listener, and has a good sense of humor
  • Demonstrates sensitivity and flexibility, and non-judgmental attitude
  • Able to work with minimal supervision and exercise sound judgment and discretion when working with others

Other:

  • Bilingual ability helpful but not required.

Volunteer Duties

Volunteer duties of the Phone-A-Friend program include:

  • Complete volunteer training program
  • Call assigned senior(s) on agreed upon schedule
  • During call, provide social support and wellness check
  • Report changes or concerns to the Program Volunteer Coordinator promptly, including immediate notification to Program Volunteer Coordinator or senior’s designated emergency contact if senior does not respond to scheduled phone call
  • Maintain client confidentiality by not discussing personal details of calls with others except with relevant Catholic Charities staff or with written consent of senior
  • Provide reports on a monthly basis as required by program
  • Attend volunteer meetings and trainings as required by program



Become a Part of the Program

 

Senior Participation

Seniors interested in receiving calls may contact us by calling our Senior Intake Line at (808) 527-4777. Family members interested in learning more about the program and referring agencies may also contact us at this number.

Volunteers

Persons interested in becoming a Phone-A-Friend volunteer may call the Senior Intake Line at (808) 527-4777 or email us at: info@catholiccharitieshawaii.org<mailto:info@catholiccharitieshawaii.org>.