Chicago, USA – Apr 30, 2020 – The China and US-based tech start-up AirJulep has launched a non-profit campaign, “Support From Afar,” to provide companionship for seniors who are isolated from loved ones during the COVID-19 lockdown. They aim to bring some lighthearted conversation and a friendly voice to seniors by having volunteers to give the seniors what are called, “care calls.”
Social distancing measures that are meant to curb the spread of coronavirus have created a sense of isolation for some people. This can be particularly overwhelming for seniors who are away from family and are struggling to navigate these uncertain times. AirJulep seeks to reduce the anxiety, depression, and loneliness caused by social distancing by providing companionship for seniors.
Through “Support From Afar,” AirJulep connects seniors with students from all over the world who are fluent in English, well-trained and passionate about connecting with seniors. These youth devote time to call the seniors regularly throughout the lockdown period. This mutually beneficial service allows seniors to enjoy making new connections and listening to stories about different cultures and living abroad. The students get to improve their English and benefit from the life experience and wisdom shared by seniors whom they connect with while helping to improve their morale and quality of life.
“Modern technology has changed our lives, yet some seniors have been left out. In a crisis like this, they may need extra emotional care, and we are glad we have the available platform to do so.”
— Deana Gao, Founder at AirJulep
The program is free for all users, and currently serving seniors in the US, UK, Australia, and Ireland, and students from China, Japan, and Korea. Senior care organizations such as nursing homes can also help their members sign up for this unique service. All of the users’ information is protected, and all calls are monitored to ensure they remain a positive experience for both the seniors and the students. The platform is backed by global support from a database of volunteers. “Support From Afar” is especially convenient for seniors because they can receive the calls through their landlines.
“I always loved talking to my grandparents, and I always believe I can learn a lot from seniors. This program is great since I can help seniors to spend some time and learning another country’s culture.”
— Dele, Volunteer
Connecting seniors with warm-hearted youth can reduce the loneliness which may be plaguing seniors during this hard time. AirJulep’s hope is that the companionship created by regular, caring phone calls will add color to the lives of seniors.
AirJulep connects retired seniors with young students across the globe who want to expand their cultural and language skills. Their non-profit project, “Support From Afar,” aims to provide this service to seniors who are away from loved ones with emotional support during this very crucial time. By cultivating connections and companionship, AirJulep hopes to build a global, multicultural and intergenerational community.