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Staying Social During Winter (and COVID)

Do you have cabin fever? Winter can be rough for several reasons and March can be especially difficult because spring seems so close yet so far away. Of course, COVID can also add to isolation and feelings of loneliness. Today we’re going to explore friendly caller programs, virtual support groups, and what activities the different senior centers are offering.  

Friendly Caller Programs 

A friendly caller program connects older community members with volunteers or staff members who can talk to them on a weekly or monthly basis.  

  • Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County offers a friendly caller program. Call (734) 971-9781 and press “8” for Senior Services. 
  • JFS WISE Comfort Line– Call (734) 769-0209 
  • Saline Area Senior Center Friendly Caller Program- click here to sign up
  • Turner Senior Wellness Program Connected Companions- If you are interested in volunteering or participating to get regular friendly calls, please call the office at (734) 998-9353 or email

Senior Centers 

Memory Cafes  

  • Connections Café (Chelsea Senior Center)- No cost. For more information or to register call CSC Office. Registration appreciated. 

Virtual Support Groups 

  • Caregiver Conversations (JFS)- Meets monthly on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30pm (virtual). Register online. The group is limited to 10 participants. 
  • Virtual Statewide Veteran Caregivers and Caregivers of Veterans Support Group (Alzheimer’s Association)- Meets the 2nd Friday of each month, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. To register, please call (800) 272-3900 or email 
  • Virtual Statewise Grief After Dementia Support Group (Alzheimer’s Association/Hospice of Michigan)- Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30-7:30pm. To register, please call (800) 272-3900 or email 
  • Turner Geriatric Clinic is offering a virtual grief support group for older adults or family members of older adults affected by loss due to COVID-19 (via Zoom/phone). Call (734) 764-2556 for more information. 
  • Arbor Hospice offers a variety of grief-related virtual support groups and activities. Click here for more information.  

In-Person Groups 

  • Conversation Club (Saline Area Senior Center)- Meets Wednesdays from 9:30-11am. Weekly drop-in conversations on current events, science, and more. No cost.  
  • Solo Seniors (Milan Seniors for Healthy Living)- Meets the 4th Wednesday of every month at 11:00 am. This informal peer support group meets to discuss the challenges of living alone, share resources, and be a support to each other. 

Virtual Classes 

  • GetSetup teaches older adults how to use videoconferencing, telemedicine, and other technology. 
  • Senior Planet offers a wide variety of online courses and activities. 
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) offers online courses for a small fee. Visit their website for more information. 

Drive Thru Events

To keep up to date on programs and events in the community, subscribe to senior center newsletters or visit the Ahead of the Curve Community Calendar.  

Check out our online training

Are you Ahead of the Curve? Take our short training any time to learn more about ways to support older adults in your family or community. You’ll learn to identify when someone might need more help and which resources are available for support.

Explore the Washtenaw County Senior Resource Directory

Our easy to use and regularly updated resource directory is a one-stop guide to older adult services in Washtenaw County.