BUTTE — Breaking Down the Walls of COVID Isolation is a program that’s found a safe way to get volunteers to reach out to senior citizens who have endured months of near solitude in long-term care facilities in Butte.
“Being able to be present in the room, look people in the eyes, and have a conversation, listen to their story. We also think that reading, playing some music,” said Dr. Shawna Yates
The program seeks people who have recently recovered from COVID-19 in order to ensure safety.
“Research tells us that for approximately 90 days people have a very, very low likelihood of becoming re-infected,” said Yates.
Residents and staff at nursing homes in Butte have suffered heavy losses from the Coronavirus.
Organizers of the program find it very important for isolated senior citizens to have personal contact with caring people.
“The number one risk factor for them in the aging process is loneliness and it can be as concerning as uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes,” said Yates.
Organizers believe that this program is a great way for those who were fortunate enough to recovery from COVID-19 to give back to the community.
“People have spontaneously come to me and said, ‘Listen, I’ve recovered, I feel well, I want to help people, what can I do,’ and when Dr. Yates reached out about this amazing program, this is exactly the kind of thing you can do,” said Father Patrick Beretta.
Those wishing to volunteer should call Lisa Carey at (406) 497-6296.