WBUR featured the positive experience of a CCA member and her “phone buddy,” a CCA employee, in its coverage of the loneliness epidemic facing older adults and other individuals who experience isolation. The CCA Phone Buddy program pairs CCA employees with eligible members of CCA Medicare plans in Massachusetts. They speak by phone each week.
Ida, a CCA member, and Michelle, a CCA quality specialist, discussed the bond they share because of their phone calls, even though they live in different parts of the state and have never met in person.
“Everybody needs somebody to talk to,” Ida said.
CCA President and CEO Chris Palmieri said these social interactions can even help members stay healthier and avoid hospital visits.
“If we’re having a connection with somebody, we [can] pick up some cues on the phone calls,” Palmieri said. “We can refer them into care that would have fallen through the cracks,” he said.