It is critical to support the social and emotional needs of older adults in our communities, especially due to COVID-19’s continued restrictions.

January 21, 2021 – Bend, Ore – The Council on Aging of Central Oregon today announced it has launched Caring Connections, a new program that connects volunteers with isolated seniors in the tri-county via weekly phone calls. Through the Caring Connections program, a simple weekly phone call can mean the world to seniors who do not have regular contact with friends or family.

Seniors are at the highest risk of developing more serious illness from COVID-19 and are being asked to be the most vigilant about social distancing. But loneliness doesn’t have to be a side effect of COVID-19.

“Our new Caring Connections program offers two direct benefits to isolated seniors,” states Council on Aging Executive Director, Susan Rotella. “The program provides seniors with a meaningful and consistent connection with a local community member and doubles as a safety check on their well-being, providing peace of mind to participants and their families.”

Caring Connections volunteers provide companionship and social contact to older adults through weekly phone calls. The special relationship that can develop between a client and a volunteer may last well beyond this time of social and physical distancing. Greater social interaction is known to help older adults to maintain healthy, independent living. All Caring Connections volunteers are trained and background checked.

The program is designed to support seniors 60+ who may be living alone or have limited family support or limited connection with people on a day-to-day basis. The program offers isolated seniors a great way to make new friends during the pandemic. The program serves older adults in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties.

If you are a senior interested in joining our Caring Connections program or know an older adult who would be a good fit for connecting to a volunteer weekly, please visit to learn more about the program or call us at (541) 678-5483.


About the Council on Aging of Central Oregon
Since 1975, the Council on Aging has served as the designated Area Agency on Aging for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties, offering adults aged 60 and older and their loved ones a range of support services. A non-profit organization, the Council on Aging advocates for, empowers and guides older adults and their loved ones to live with independence and well-being in age-friendly communities—places where infrastructure, policies and practices are developed to make the community liveable, accessible and responsive to the needs of people of all ages, especially older adults.

Phone: (541) 678-5483

Media Contact
Denise LaBuda
Director, Strategy and Communications
Council on Aging of Central Oregon
(541) 678-5483