One of the major impacts of the lockdown portion of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was how people, especially seniors, had to deal with isolation. Young and old alike were afraid to visit their older relatives in an effort to not potentially expose them to the coronavirus.

Even now as vaccines are prevalent, the virus is still a part of daily life and many are still hesitant to be out and about as much as they were prior to March 2020.

A study conducted last year found that around one-third of Americans over 45 had feelings of loneliness, and this can lead to physical and mental health concerns, including dementia and a greater risk of depression.

But by utilizing the same technology that we did to interact with our loved ones last year, programs are available to connect people from around the world to help combat loneliness.

Kingston Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has details on three of these programs to see if any might be a good fit for you or an elder in your life.

  1. Big and Mini

Big and Mini connects older adults with people generally between 18 and 25 years of age. The site uses videoconferencing to connect these people and promotes bridging the generation gap by creating meaningful connections. You input your interests, background, and time availability and the site creates matches through that information.

  1. Eldera

Eldera connects those 60 and older with people younger than Big and Mini, as children ages 5 to 18 from 22 countries are eligible to participate. Adults can connect one-on-one to mentor a youth or interact with several at a time for a fun activity like storytelling.

  1. Dorot Caring Calls

Dorot has been around for 45 years to connect seniors with volunteers of any age via telephone calls, but they have now added video calls to their repertoire. Anyone wishing to volunteer can provide information about themselves, and social workers along with Dorot staffers make connections based on those preferences.


To learn more about Kingston Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit