Program for lonely seniors back up and running

The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health logo. (Photo submitted)

The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health’s Lonely No More program is back up and running.

The program was launched last year and uses telephone conference calls to bring together groups of five or six seniors who are lonely and looking for someone to talk with.

The program took a summer hiatus and had some problems finding seniors to get running again in the fall. Organizers pointed out the very people they were trying to reach tend to be not well connected with what’s going on in their communities, so it was difficult to get in touch with them.

Co-facilitator Susan Fuller said she has five seniors in her group and they all within an hour and a half to two hours from the Dungannon area and part of the appeal of the program is people get to know people from other communities.

Fuller said she believes it’s very valuable service to the seniors.

“I’ve done about four calls and there was one call where there was only one lady who called in, but you could tell she was really lonely and just really needed to talk and to have someone to listen to her,” she said.

Fuller said the call last around an hour and the woman said she really hoped other people would join in the following week.

“But then at the end of the call, she said I really hope other people join next week, cause I wanna talk with other people. So, these are people that they crave to talk with someone but they don’t know where to connect up with someone.”

Susan said any seniors who like to be involved in a group can call Sarah Versteeg at the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health at 519-612-1053 or email her at