The world is a very different place than it was when the older adults in our community were growing up. But some things will never change. People wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible as they age, and they rely on the RNH Telephone Reassurance Program (TRP) to keep them connected to society and safe, knowing that the RNH volunteers and staff are ready to help when they sense something is wrong.
The same way these older adults rely on RNH, RNH relies on YOU to help us fulfill our mission of service. Each day, the committed TRP volunteers call up to 100 homebound adults in the Bronx to check up on them. Sometimes they just talk about the weather, but sometimes the conversations raise red flags and the volunteers race to our Program Coordinator, Zenobia Kelly, who jumps into action. Zenobia is a retired nurse and is a staunch advocate for our participants, helping them successfully navigate through challenging situations.
As a clear example, we have Mrs. B. Mrs. B suffers from dementia; looking after her was simply too much for her daughter to handle alone. But by working together with RNH, she is able to take care of herself a little bit knowing that our volunteers are there for her mother. Her words say it all:
“Hello TRP I just want to say thanks for the wonderful interest and caring that you give to my mother. Your calls mean the world to me as a daughter and to my mom. When I come home from work she greets me by saying ‘my friends called me today’. It is reassuring to me to know you are all there for her; not only do these call benefit her but also me!”
While we work very hard to keep our telephone recipients connected with the outside world, we also have to help solve many problems for them that others do not have the time to handle such as access to the HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), Lifeline and medication support (renewals, affordable options and delivery) and even medical interventions for a prosthetic device issue.
Mr. P informed us that the TRP volunteers were his only family. We spoke with him daily. As his condition deteriorated he was admitted to a nursing home facility where the volunteers continued his daily calls; he was very grateful and delighted to speak with them. However, because of his chronic upper respiratory condition it was very difficult for Mr. P. to speak. But he asked the TRP to “please keep calling me even when I can’t answer the phone. I will know it’s you calling. You are my only family.” The volunteers granted his request and on the day he passed away, their voices were the last ones he heard.
I know we all value the contributions our recipients made to society over the years and it is only fitting for them to be supported by the community as they age in place. We hope you are able to join RNH by making a contribution…we need you as the seniors we call need us!
Yours in community,