VITALZ (Volunteers in Touch)

There are a record number of people in San Diego County living with dementia – and 1 out of 4 live alone. The VITALZ (Volunteers in Touch) program was specifically created to support this vulnerable population.

Here’s how it works:

  • Specially trained volunteers call those enrolled in the program every week.
  • Phone calls can be purely social, but they can also provide reminders about things like upcoming appointments and food deliveries, or identify a new need the person living with dementia may have.
  • Like all of our programs, this is completely free of charge.

VITALZ can also serve as a safety net. When a person enrolls in this program, they will provide emergency contacts. If the person living with dementia does not answer a scheduled call after a few tries, the volunteer will then call the emergency contacts so they can check in and see if the person is safe.

As one care partner shares:

“I have been so concerned about my mother-in-law during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place.  Other programs, which had been visiting her for years, no longer could continue with at-home visits.  I saw her memory issues become more severe and it was difficult to tell what was natural progression or the effect of spending so much time in isolation.  I found Alzheimer’s San Diego and started attending many of their online seminars.  Through one of these, I learned about VITALZ.  I signed my mother-in-law up as soon as I could.  She loves getting called by the volunteers and having someone to converse with several times a week, and we can definitely see the impact this has had on her mood and on her life.  It has also been a relief for the family to have her actively engaged with someone other than her two sons and me.  She was never much of a talker while my father-in-law was alive, but since having these calls she has developed into quite the chatter box and enjoys telling us about the lovely conversations she has had.  She looks forward to them every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!”

If you are living with dementia and are interested in enrolling in VITALZ, or are caring for someone you think might be a good fit, contact Alzheimer’s San Diego by calling 858.492.4400 or emailing info@alzsd.org.

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