“It gets pretty lonely here by yourself,” said Dell Kaplan. The 81-year-old Texan has been hunkered down during the coronavirus pandemic, but now a new program popping up has allowed her to stay social, the Associated Press reports
The city of Plano launched a program to keep the elderly engaged during this period of social distancing. Library staff make up part of the 15-person team from across multiple city departments who have been making 50 calls a week since April, according to the Associated Press.
“It’s really just to give them a social outlet that they might not have otherwise,” said Holly Ryckman, a member of the team making calls.
Brent Bloechle is a library manager who helped organize the program. He said the city will keep the program intact at least through the summer and potentially forever. Many of the folks receiving calls have contact with family and friends, but the extra calls with local staff still helps to keep them engaged during solitary days.