Back in January 2021, an 87-year-old gentleman called looking for information on Covid-vaccination sites. He had not been able to get through on the advertised phone line and did not have a computer. He did have a smart phone but didn’t have it set up for email and didn’t know how to do that.
During the course of the conversation and looking for additional services for him, he shared his wife had passed away this past year and he felt very lost. His two adult sons did not live in the area. As I looked for services that might be more accessible to him, he shared as a former Marine, it was a very humbling situation to be in…. to be asking for help and to be struggling to navigate necessary technology.
I thanked the caller for his service and shared due to his veteran status he might be able to access vaccination services through his local VA clinic. We also discussed ways his sons could help bridge the technology gap if they set up an email for him on their end. We worked through a possible solution of him setting up a fax machine and his sons could send him the necessary notifications, allowing him to understand possible appointments and locations.
He was extremely positive about the possibilities. It was an honor to be there to help a community member connect to critical services, demonstrate respect for the service he has rendered and value the importance of his family relationships though they were separated by miles. I was able to help a caller who was nervous about asking for help understand that there are compassionate people in his community that care and available 24/7.