“Good morning! How are you today?” Those simple words, spoken over the phone by friendly Winona Health Volunteers, provide peace of mind to individuals who live alone and to their families. The service is called Telecare, and it’s free to people of all ages who are disabled, elderly or live alone no matter where they receive health care services.
Every day, including weekends and holidays, Telecare volunteers call Telecare clients. The phone call is a way for individuals who live alone to stay connected on a daily basis and know that someone will notify their designated loved one if they are unable to get to the phone.
Telecare clients can ask not to be called on specific days. For example, if the client is always with family on Sundays, they can ask not to be contacted on Sundays, or if they know they will not be home for any reason, they simply let the volunteer know, and they will be taken off the call list for those dates.
Volunteers call between 8 and 10 a.m. If a client cannot be reached on a scheduled day, the Telecare volunteer contacts the friend or relative the client has chosen as their contact person. Each spring and fall, Telecare volunteers host parties featuring bingo and lunch to give clients and volunteers an opportunity to visit face-to-face. Winona Health Volunteers have provided this service for more than 45 years (since 1973), and, like Winona Health, the Winona Health Volunteers trace its history back 125 years to 1894.
For more information or to sign up to receive this free Telecare service, please call the Winona Health volunteer office at 507-457-4342.