Telephone Reassurance – Staff Birthday Visit to a Ninety-Seven Year Old Client

Telephone Reassurance Program

Staff Birthday Visit to a Ninety Seven Year Old Client

Written by: Zenobia Kelly, TRP Program Coordinator

 November 6th was a joyous day for both a 97 year old Telephone Reassurance (TRP) call recipient and for RNH TRP staff. The TRP Program members wanted to visit one of their clients, Mrs. A, at home, on her 97th birthday and were determined to do so!

The Telephone Reassurance Program (TRP) is a volunteer-driven program at RNH that addresses the needs of homebound seniors in our community and throughout the Bronx. The TRP is managed by Program Coordinator, Zenobia Kelly and has a staff of ten trained volunteers. The purpose of this program is to provide daily phone calls to homebound older adults to make sure they are safe. This is a vital service for vulnerable and isolated seniors in the community. These calls are often the only social contact that many of the clients served by the program receive.

Recently, Zenobia Kelly and her volunteer staff introduced a Birthday Club for their clients and it has really “taken off.” Zenobia relayed that the elders are always so excited and appreciative to receive a lovely card and recognition on their birthday. “They always call to express their gratitude.”

Mrs. A’s daughter, who is unable to visit her mom due to her own health issues, was delighted to give Ms. Kelly and the TRP volunteers permission to visit her mother on her 97th birthday. “We bore gifts of a fruit basket, flowers and a cake and went to CO-OP City and knocked on Mrs. A’s door.”

Mrs. A was so excited and extremely happy for the visit. “She invited us in and hugged us all while she expressed her gratitude and appreciation for us and for RNH.” One volunteer stated that “she is blind so hugging us all meant the world to her…as well as to us!”

The RNH TRP staff gave her gifts and sang “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. Mrs. A said a prayer of appreciation “May God bless you all for coming and remembering me on my 97th birthday and may God bless the Riverdale Neighborhood House and may they continue to do this wonderful work.”

Ms. Kelly noted that “although it was pouring rain outside, we had bright sunshine indoors with Mrs. A; it was a happy, joyous day for Mrs. A and for all of us from the Riverdale Neighborhood House Telephone Reassurance Program.”


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