Feeling isolated? HELP volunteers can help with a few friendly calls

By Allen Wicken

RANGELEY — The staff and volunteers at Rangeley Health and Wellness hope everyone is “social distancing” and practicing “self-quarantine” by staying at home as much as possible. These are the ways each of us can do our part to help Maine’s healthcare system from being overwhelmed by seriously ill Covid-19 patients.
We also know how it feels to begin feeling a bit alone and isolated after a few days of doing what each of us can to fight this fast-moving pandemic. RHW’s HELP volunteers truly want to help you with a friendly phone call or two, or perhaps even a call every day. These volunteers have considerable experience in this area of community service.
A few years ago, a group of local residents (most of them senior citizens themselves) got together for some brainstorming about what could be done to assist local, elderly residents to remain in their homes rather than in a facility. It is where most all of us would like to live if at all possible, correct? Nationally, this strategy is called “Living in Place.” The local group decided to call its services “Helping Elders Live in Place.”
Under the leadership of Rangeley Health and Wellness, other successful HELP programs include Winter Senior Social, Adult Respite Care, Senior Expo, and the Neighbors Calling Neighbors program.The latter program has been expanded to be a service for all interested Rangeley region residents.
In light of the current situation, RHW is calling this new program Helping Everyone Live in Place.

Getting started with HELP
It’s easy to get on the call list. Simply contact Joanne Dickson, Rangeley Health and Wellness, at 207-670-5236. Leave your name and phone number and your interest in the new call program. Dickson will then connect you with HELP volunteer coordinators of this new community service — Marcia Baker and Allen Wicken. You will get a call back that same day to hear more details about this newly-expanded “Neighbors Calling Neighbors” service (in response to the coronavirus crisis) and get you on the call list.