Thanks to a great deal of scientific research over the years, it’s been undoubtedly proven that an extensive network of friends and regular social interaction boosts both happiness and life expectancy among humans. Unfortunately for the United States' elderly population, more than 35 percent of people living in nursing homes don’t receive a single visitor the entirety of stay, leaving them completely isolated and designating them as “elder orphans.” With this harrowing statistic in mind, 21-year-old Baruj Avram decided to build non-profit Calls4Care, a platform aimed at bringing human connection back to the country’s seniors and making their loneliness a thing of the past.
Founded in partnership with Steven Manocherian, Natalie Manocherian, and Daniel Manocherian, Avram was inspired to create Calls4Care after spending eight months alone at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic due to travel restrictions in his home country.
“I’m from Panama and Panama was completely locked down,” said Avram. “I was forced to quarantine by myself for eight months and after a few months went by, I spent my birthday alone and I just felt so lonely. I wanted to connect with people who were going through the same thing, then I discovered elder orphans and knew I had to help.”
With its innovative concept, Calls4Care has already made more than 2,000 meaningful connections between elders and volunteers, helping shatter loneliness in the senior citizen community and boosting their overall happiness one match at a time . A simple questionnaire at sign up ensures every partnership fostered via Calls4Care has overlapping interests and plenty to chat about, and the platform is completely free to use so financial limitations don’t restrict the chances for a senior citizen to make a wonderful new friend.
Though Calls4Care was born from the effects of coronavirus, Avram and his team aim to keep the non-profit going on far beyond the end of the pandemic, hoping to keep the life-changing platform impacting the lives of the elderly for years and years to come. To get involved with Calls4Care, visit the organization’s website for more information on how to bring a smile to an elder today.