My Former Neighbor Is High-Risk And Alone; Here’s What I Ask When I Call Her.

Apr 14, 2020

Velma Hayes, of West Plains, Missouri, was born in the rural, forested area of Siloam Springs during the Great Depression.
Credit Jennifer Moore / KSMU

Experts say it’s critical that people check in on older friends and neighbors, even through a simple phone call.

KSMU’s Jennifer Moore and her former neighbor, Velma Hayes, have been keeping in touch through the pandemic, and they decided to share one of their phone calls to encourage others to stay connected. 

Hayes lives independently in West Plains, Missouri, and Moore lives and works in Springfield.  You can hear their conversation here:

We encourage you to think of someone you could reach out to in a similar way. Here are a few things you might talk about:

  • Ask how they’re getting their groceries
  • Ask if they have all of the food, medicine and hygiene items they need
  • Ask how they've been feeling emotionally since the stay-at-home order began
  • Have them tell you about activities they enjoy, like hobbies or interests
  • Tell them something you appreciate or admire about them
  • Share humorous details about the changes in your own life due to the pandemic
  • Make sure they have your contact information
  • Let them know when you plan to call again