Washington Heights SeniorLink Connects Older Adults

The new program offers help with social interaction, has resources in Spanish and English, provides care packages and more.

Bashar Makhay
April 27, 2020

Columbia School of Social Work students Daniella Spencer-Laitt and Amanda Weiss, alongside Columbia College alumnus Jennifer Strauss teamed up to create Washington Heights (WH) Senior Link, a new program established to help older adults navigate life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Columbia University School of Social Work provided a grant to support the goals of the program, which include:

  • Creating a directory of seniors looking for social interaction
  • Creating resource lists of services in Spanish and English available to seniors who are social distancing
  • Creating a network of English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers to “buddy” with seniors and provide care packages; weekly phone calls; and a bi-weekly letters
  • Facilitating friend match-making to pair seniors with other seniors for mutual support

While the program is currently limited to the Washington Heights area, Daniella, Amanda, and Jennifer hope that model can be replicated in other areas. Potential volunteers can sign up to support this effort via an online application. Seniors interested in getting involved can submit this interest form, alternatively, seniors can get in touch by email admin@whseniorlink.org or by calling 917-740-2194