Nonprofit connects volunteers to chat with seniors via Zoom

The nonprofit, Seniors With Skills, has started an online buddy program

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A nonprofit focused on providing cross-generational connections has transitioned to using technology to build relationships amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Seniors with Skills, which has volunteers across the country, launched its online buddy program to connect seniors isolated in nursing homes via Zoom.

The calls provide a chance for the seniors to interact with people from a safe distance.

Jaya Manjunath, founder of Seniors with Skills, said their efforts started with a nursing home in New York, where volunteers have been talking with at least three seniors a day.

"This online buddy program is really meant to prevent and reduce any social isolation that they're facing," Manjunath told Spectrum News in Buffalo, New York.

In addition to talking about current events, swapping recipes or discussing how life has been in quarantine, the volunteers are also teaching seniors how to use iPads, computers and other technology. The group is also looking for ways to partner with nursing homes without technology to deliver iPads and other devices for residents to Pulitzer.

Manjunath said the plan is to continue to grow and expand the online buddies program even after the guidelines on social distancing are relaxed.

In addition to the video calls, Seniors with Skills have been collecting pre-recorded videos from volunteers to share with nursing homes.

Information on volunteering can be found here.