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Tampa Nonprofit Gulf Coast JFCS Uses CHATS Program to Connect With Seniors

January 12, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has already affected millions of Americans keeping them from enacting their daily routines. This goes double for those at risk, specifically seniors. Tampa-based Gulf Coast JFCS saw the need to connect with seniors who, for their own safety, may be locked down in their homes. Social contact helps us to cope with stress and major life changes but social contact also has an effect on our physical health. Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karas Montez, sociology researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, cited evidence linking a low quantity or quality of social ties with a host of conditions, including the development and worsening of cardiovascular disease, repeat heart attacks, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, cancer and slowed wound healing.

The Companionship, Help & Access by Telephone for Seniors (CHATS) is a Gulf Coast JFCS program that matches seniors with a volunteer caller so they can enjoy a weekly telephone chat. This short phone call means so much to those who aren’t able to have social interactions due to a variety of reasons. CHATS program staff matches callers based on preferences and interests. Callers work together to decide what day and time to chat. CHATS is free, only a reliable land line or cell phone is required.


  • Research shows friends are good for your health
  • Callers can become lifelong friends
  • Callers can connect you to Gulf Coast JFCS resources that might be helpful
  • You can learn and share something together
  • Callers can make you SMILE

Help us get the word out for our senior community by sharing with a friend or family member.  Learn more here:


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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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