Outreach Support Program Comforts Older Adults

SIOUX FALLS, S.D – The Sioux Empire United Way is helping to fund a new program that’s focused on helping older adults who are home bound. It gives them an opportunity to connect over the phone with professionals, who provide them with support. The company serves 1 in 3 individuals in the community with over 80 different programs. It is second in the nation in per capita giving… and it has a new way to serve adults who may feel alone or isolated.

“Their closest ones may be deceased already and so we do weekly phone calls just to check in with them, to talk with them, to hear stories, but then also to make sure that they’re connected to the resources that helps them stay in their homes longer,” says VP program development of the Helpline Center Betsy Schuster.

Those who work at the Helpline Center’s Outreach Support Program understand that older adults living alone may need additional support.

We, “talk to them and listen to them and let them know they are not alone in our community,” Schuster says.

Phyllis Bingham, a 93 year old Sioux Falls resident, is one example. Bingham has been living alone for the past 10 years after her husband passed away. She says that the program’s phone calls have been a great help.

“Ohh it’s just conversation. It’s talking to somebody, because I don’t have anyway to get out of here to go visit people,” says Bingham.

While Bingham loves her family, she doesn’t get to see them often enough. The ability to share stories with someone, even if it is just on the phone, allows Bingham to feel not so alone.

Instead, she feels she has found a great companion.

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