Engagement on Wheels
August 9, 2022
TimeSlips is working alongside Meals on Wheels America to support select local programs’ efforts to offer social connection services aimed at reducing social isolation and loneliness, and to create opportunities for older adults to forge meaningful connections with volunteers in their communities. This project, aptly called the Social Connection Pilot, also engages support from CallHub, which provides an innovative interface for volunteers to connect with participating older adults via phone, U-SIRS, an evaluation system meant to determine an individual’s loneliness, and ServTracker, an application to help integrate all aspects of this project right into the hands of the Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers that are connecting directly with the older adults that we aim to reach. This project is generously being funded by Caesars Foundation.
As a part of this project, TimeSlips provides training opportunities that supports the individuals that serve and connect with the meal recipients. We provide various levels of trainings for administration and key staff members, volunteers making well-check calls and/or friendly visits, and drivers making the deliveries. Each training opportunity considers what type of engagement each individual is able to facilitate, as well as the average length of time they have with each recipient.
This work builds from our previous experience working with Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin (the Milwaukee chapter of Meals on Wheels), and the United Community Center, in the Milwaukee Beautiful Questions project which happened in 2021. In that project, we offered volunteer and staff training, delivered Beautiful Questions with meals on the back of monthly menus, and gathered responses which were later turned into a beautiful creative output that was shared broadly with the participants and broader community.
We are excited to continue building and refining this training to help reduce social isolation with older adults all over the country who may be experiencing loneliness. Stay tuned for more on this exciting project happening with Meals on Wheels America.