Daily Point of Light # 1680 Jul 12, 2000

The St. Joseph Health System (SJHS) Telecare Volunteers are a group of dedicated and caring volunteers, who give freely of their time to support homebound community members with an outside contact once every 24 hours. The Telecare Volunteers have been providing daily comfort to the elderly and physically challenged homebound members for more than 21 years.

In 1978 the increasing number of retirees to the local community inspired the hospital auxiliary to develop a telephone check-in service to homebound persons. This program has continued through the years due to the need and also because of the caring St. Joseph Health System Volunteers who give their hearts and soul to the program. The SJHS Telecare Volunteers provide a daily check-in service to elderly people unable to leave their homes. This program continued to be an asset to the recipients who would otherwise not have regular contact with the outside world. Currently, the program has 60 community members who receive their daily check-in telephone call.

Each Telecare Volunteer must complete a volunteer orientation program and meet Health System Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) required education requirements on an annual basis. The Telecare Volunteers have to work cohesively together because the Telecare check-in service is seven days a week and they must cover for each other when they are unable to perform their assigned shift.

This year, a Telecare Client, who had fallen, lay on the floor all night unable to get up. The Telecare Volunteer attempted to reach the client the next morning without success. Procedure was followed, in which emergency personnel were contacted and help was obtained for the hurt Telecare client.

SJHS Telecare Volunteers truly provide concern and support to people unable to leave their homes.