Conversation Partners Pilot Program to support Older Adults in Benton County

An elderly woman holds her hands in her lap.
Thursday, May 7, 2020

Beginning May 4th, students from Oregon State University and Linn Benton Community College launched the Conversation Partners Pilot Program to connect with older adults in Benton County to provide social connection/friendship. The program serves any older adults who are seeking social connection and provides them with up to a 1-hour phone conversation per week with a student. 

Students are able to provide conversations in both English and Spanish, and callers can schedule a time to receive a call. This program is not replacing any crisis line or resources already established.

The Conversation Partners Program was created to help address unmet needs among both older adults and students in the community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For older adults, a loss of social connection due to physical distancing can lead to feelings of isolation, which can impact physical and mental health. 

Additionally, many Health and Human Services students have lost their internship opportunities this year due to COVID-19. For many, this has compromised their graduation dates and left them with no foreseeable opportunities. This program provides them with an opportunity to complete their degree requirements while serving their community. 

If you or someone you know is interested in utilizing the program, please call 541-766-3535 to schedule a time. 

For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.co.benton.or.us/coronavirus.