LONG BEACH, Calif., May 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- SCAN, a leading senior-focused organization with the mission of keeping seniors healthy and independent, announced it has provided its third grant since 2015 to the Institute on Aging, a San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to preserving the dignity, independence and well-being of aging adults and people with disabilities. The $25,000 grant—which amounts to $70,000 in total grants SCAN has awarded the Institute on Aging—offsets operating costs associated with the Institute on Aging's Friendship Line crisis intervention hotline and warmline (non-urgent calls), providing crucial social connections for isolated, lonely older adults.
"As an organization that is dedicated to ensuring older adults have access to services that support mental health and wellbeing, we are grateful for the work being done by the Institute on Aging and proud to provide financial support for the Friendship Line," stated Chris Wing, CEO of SCAN. "Our own research tells us that 82 percent of seniors know at least one person who is lonely. The emotional support provided by the Friendship Line helps older adults who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn, making it an integral part of the safety net of services that help ensure Bay Area seniors remain healthy and independent."
The Institute on Aging's Friendship Line services provide older adults and adults living with a disability reassurance, crisis intervention, information and referrals. The 2018 grant from SCAN helps fund salaries for the Friendship Line's staff of counselors, supervisors and a volunteer coordinator who oversee approximately 100 volunteers. In addition to receiving incoming calls 24/7 and offering multiple language and cultural competencies, volunteers make routine outbound phone calls that provide emotional support. As it has been found that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health—research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)—this is especially important. Through daily well-being check-ins, volunteers call clients to help monitor their physical and mental health concerns and ensure a sense of connectedness. Available for any person aged 60 years or older, adults living with a disability 18 years or older and caregivers of older adults, the Friendship Line may be called at any time, seven days a week at 1-800-971-0016.
"For many depressed and lonely seniors, Friendship Line offers a lifeline of hope. In every call, the goal is to help the individual feel safe and valued," said Dr. Patrick Arbore, the creator of the Institute on Aging's Friendship Line. "We're extremely grateful to SCAN for its ongoing support which allows us to continue delivering these critically important services to those in need."
In keeping with its non-profit mission and through its partnerships with Institute on Aging and other like-minded organizations, SCAN provides direct funding to bridge the gap between community needs and available resources for seniors. Non-profits located in SCAN's California service areas are eligible to apply for SCAN community grants. Applications may be submitted year-round and grants are made quarterly. To learn more, please visit www.independenceathome.org/community-giving.
SCAN is a not-for-profit organization committed to keeping seniors healthy and independent. That's been our mission since our founding in 1977. Today we deliver on that mission through SCAN Health Plan, one of the largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans in the nation. Independence at Home, a SCAN community service, provides vitally needed services and support to seniors, disabled adults and their caregivers. SCAN also offers education programs, community funding, volunteer opportunities and other community services throughout our California service area. To learn more, visit scanhealthplan.com or facebook.com/scanhealthplan or follow us on twitter @scanhealthplan.
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