Ohio Launches Free Daily Check-in Calls For Seniors

The Ohio Department of Aging has launched a pilot program offering a friendly ear to state residents ages 60 and older who are craving a conversation or human connection during the pandemic. The telephone chats are open to anyone in that age group who signs up for Staying Connected, a free, daily automated check-in service that began in May to help older people as COVID-19 spread.

Every day between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm, people who sign up for the program receive a phone call. When they answer, they can press one button to acknowledge they’re ok, another button to connect with their local Area Agency on Aging to find out about local services that provide things like food or transportation and now, a third button, to chat.

To sign up for Staying Connected, you must be an Ohio resident, have a valid phone number and alternative phone numbers for an emergency contact. People who sign up have three chances daily to respond to a pre-scheduled check-in call.  If they don’t the automated service calls their emergency contact.

To sign up for the free Staying Connected program, visit  opens in a new windowwww.aging.ohio.gov or call 1-833-ODA-CHAT (1-833-632-2428).  If you try the service and don’t like it, Gianforcaro said you can cancel at any time.

Please click opens in a new windowhere for Akron Beacon Journal article.