Hotline Hopes to Uplift Seniors in Isolation

With so much disheartening information flooding the media as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding some comic relief can be a challenge and yet laughter really can be the best medicine for stress, anxiety or loneliness.  With some extra time on their hands, a group of Calgary, Canada teens have developed a hotline for elderly adults they hope will provide a bright spot in the day and help alleviate feelings of isolation. 

Because seniors are among the most at-risk groups for developing serious complications from coronavirus infections, older adults are encouraged to stay home and avoid social contact as much as possible.  The result of long periods of social distancing can include depression, feelings of hopelessness and changes in sleep or appetite that can affect overall well-being. 

That’s where the Joy 4 All Project steps in; callers can dial in to hear a pre-recorded message designed to give home-bound elderly residents a boost.  The messages are updated regularly and include jokes, poems and other positive messages.  According to a recent CNN report, the call line received more than 1,800 phone calls in its first week of operation. 

Teens and children are encouraged to contribute age-appropriate jokes, stories or notes of encouragement to seniors during the pandemic by visiting the Joy 4 All website.  The messages can be written or recorded in the submitter’s voice. 

Hearing the voice of a young person over the phone can help older adults feel more connected with their communities and sharing a laugh releases feel-good endorphins.  Laughter has been found to create an effect similar to antidepressants and may even protect the heart by dampening the body’s stress response and reducing inflammation. 

For more information, visit the Joy 4 All website or follow the project that hopes to spread joy and reach seniors in isolation during the pandemic on Instagram.

Here are a couple of laughs for today:

Pandemic jokes are the funniest

Because everyone gets it

On average, a panda feeds for approximately 12 hours a day. It’s the same with humans under quarantine.

That’s why it’s called a “Pandemic”.