Coronavirus: Free daily calls aim to keep Ohio seniors connected during pandemic

The Ohio Department of Aging is offering a free daily phone check-in with Ohio seniors to assure their well-being and prevent feelings of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Staying Connected service is available for Ohioans 60 and older and encouraged for those living alone during the pandemic.

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“During a time when physical distancing has become necessary, we must create ways to maintain social connectedness,” said ODA Director Ursel McElroy. “The impact of isolation has been linked to higher risks for serious physical and mental conditions, so I am pleased we can provide these check-ins at a critical time.”

The automated service is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Seniors must have a valid phone number to participate.

Participants select a one-hour period to be contacted during each day. The service will confirm the participant is OK during the call and offer to connect them to their local Area Agency on Aging for information on services and assistance.

If the participant cannot be reached after three attempts, a call will be placed to alternate contact, if one is on file. If the alternate contact and participant cannot be reached, the service will call the local sheriff’s non-emergency line.

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“Especially during this very challenging time, we encourage older Ohioans to sign up for the ODA’s Staying Connected phone program,” said Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association. “This program will help reduce isolation and support the health and well-being of older adults in our state.”

To learn more or sign up, visit or call 1-833-ODA-CHAT (1-833-632-2428).

For information on the state’s coronavirus response, go to or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.