Helping Neighbors: F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP Visitation Service
Nobody relishes the prospect of aging without family by their side, without friends to help them laugh at life’s crazy moments and to help them through difficult times. Yet that is just what many seniors face; many of our aging loved ones are feeling alone in the crowd. The FISH Visitation Service is available to those island neighbors who are feeling lonely, who may not have any friends or family nearby, and/or who may no longer be able to leave their homes to socialize with others. A shared cup of coffee while viewing favorite photos or reminiscing about the past can brighten their day and reduce social isolation.
Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for a variety of reasons, including retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility. Even perceived social isolation – the feeling that you are lonely – is a struggle for many older people. That’s where the FISH Visitation Service can help. Many seniors feel like a weight has been lifted when enjoying a cup of coffee and chatting with FISH volunteers. And FISH volunteers enjoy the experience as well -- imagine the stories they share, the history that is learned, and the wisdom being passed on! Lasting friendships have formed, and this service has proven to be extremely rewarding to all those involved. By building relationships and reaching out to those wanting a friendly face to talk to, FISH helps relieve isolation and loneliness among older and disabled adults. FISH can also ensure they are receiving needed social and emotional support, and offer information on other FISH programs and services that may be of interest. Volunteers bring the warmth of friendship with them during home visits, and help celebrate and improve quality of life for island seniors.
For additional information on FISH and it’s over 40 different programs and services, please visit their website, fishofsancap.org, or contact their Walk-In Center at 239-472-4775.