Reaching the Isolated During the Pandemic

April 14, 2021

A grandmother in Chicago recently received a phone call from a nurse in a local hospital’s “friendly caller” program, created to help lonely seniors cope with isolation during the pandemic. It worked: the recipient dubbed the nurse “my angel.” The program’s success reinforces a proposal in an Issues online exclusive by Colleen Galambos. She argues that health care professionals are well positioned to identify people at risk of isolation and loneliness, especially among underserved populations, and deliver care tailored to their health and social needs.

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