Pilot Program to Combat Social Isolation

Androscoggin’s Telehealth Department will introduce a pilot program, AndroPEERConnects to help combat loneliness and social isolation for patients receiving care through telehealth devices. Patients who are homebound, recovering from an illness or injury, or managing a chronic illness can often feel isolated. Having a human connection can relieve feelings of loneliness. Volunteers will offer routine companionship through video and audio devices. Whether it’s discussing current events, sports, or a favorite television program having a friendly face can provide comfort and support.

Androscoggin volunteers will connect with patients via telehealth devices one to two times weekly for 15-30 minutes. To date, thirteen Androscoggin volunteers have received receive training to navigate calls beginning in November. AndroPEERConnects is a voluntary program and there is no charge for the service.

Manager of Virtual Health, Mel Lovering said, “There is no question given our present circumstances the value of this new program. Patients can benefit tremendously from having a human connection right in the comfort of their own homes. Given the rural complexity of our state, we are confident AndroPEERConnects will be an invaluable service moving forward.” Lovering adds, “Our volunteers are very excited to be involved and anxious to get back to their volunteer routines.”

The program’s success will be measured and evaluated for future grant funding. FMI contact Shane Levasseur, RN, Clinical Coordinator of Telehealth Services at 207-795-9317