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We are so excited to announce Spectrum’s newest program: Connect. This program is designed to bring together people, pets and learning opportunities for older adults in our community. We will begin with providing reassurance calls, friendly visits, and pet food and supplies. We know how important being connected is to our seniors. COVID amplified this need. We utilized our Meals

on Wheels & Fall Prevention teams to bridge the gap during COVID. We have now officially expanded this program.

A large body of scientific research shows that social interaction — having strong, happy relationships with family, friends and community members — is an important factor in good health and longevity. Researchers who studied 7,000 men and women in Alameda County, found that people who were “disconnected from others” were about three times more likely to die during the nine-year study than people with strong social ties. On average, people with lifestyles and close relationships live the longest.

And friendships can get you through the inevitable health setbacks that occur with aging. A study of 2,320 men who survived heart attacks, found that those with strong personal connections were far more likely to stay alive over the next three years of follow- up. A number of other studies have shown the same trend. In one report of adults with coronary artery disease, people who were socially isolated had nearly three times the death rate compared with those with strong relationships.

Why are close friends and family ties good for us? They give us emotional support that can help us cope with stress. They can be a positive influence, helping us create healthy habits. (If your friends don’t smoke, you probably don’t either.) Studies show friendships give us higher self- esteem, greater empathy for others and make us more trusting and cooperative. And perhaps most important: As we age, our friends and family give us a sense of purpose and a reason to keep getting up in the morning. Source: NYT, Tara Parker-Pope

We will offer reassurance calls and friendly visits throughout Alameda County. The pet program is currently serving the Meals on Wheels clients in the Tri Valley.

Do you have time to make a few calls a week? Can you commit to visiting with a senior that just wants someone to talk to? Volunteers will be matched with a senior with similar interests to help nurture a connection. If you are interested in becoming a Connect volunteer please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Would you benefit from a weekly phone call or visit? If you are interested please contact Carrie Oldes 925-483-1989 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.