One Iowa Launching LGBTQ Older Adults Friendly Caller Program
Many LGBTQ older adults lived during a time of harsher discrimination and felt a need to hide their true selves. In some cases, they may have been rejected by their biological families. Often, they lost friends, including some through the AIDS epidemic. Today many are without someone to talk with, share memories or discuss resources. Those living in care facilities often feel most alone and some feel the need to return to the closet. Having conversations with others who have experienced similar challenges is therapeutic.
The One Iowa Friendly Caller Program connects LGBTQ older Iowans with members of the LGBTQ community through weekly phone calls. Regular calls through the Friendly Caller Program may alleviate stress and improve health among LGBTQ older adult participants by providing increased connections and support.
We are looking for LGBTQ older Iowans who would like to receive phone calls during the pilot program this fall. The program matches participants with volunteer callers who check in by phone and engage in conversation at least once a week. The volunteer caller is not a counselor but a friend who can provide interest, caring, encouragement and support.
If you or someone you know are interested in being a participant (receiving calls), please fill out this Google form or email [email protected] for other ways we can accommodate filling out this application.
We are seeking caring LGBTQ volunteers of any age or gender to respond to these needs. Volunteers are matched with one participant and are asked to commit to one telephone call per week for four months. Volunteers are not expected to be counselors but trusted person willing to provide interest, caring, encouragement and support. During the pilot, volunteers will be able to provide feedback to help shape the program.