Social distancing is tough enough for those of us who are living with families, but for those who are living alone, it is even tougher. For our elderly, even the task of getting out of the house and doing grocery shopping has become a risky proposition.

It's not an overstatement to say that members of our older generation take their lives into their hands as they venture off to do everyday tasks in public.

You could certainly understand the hesitation of someone older going out at all. Which is great for social distancing, but not so great for the psychological and emotional needs of our elderly population.

This is why troopers from the Massachusetts State Police are volunteering their personal time to make phone calls to the elderly. The program is called "Chat with a Trooper," and it was the brainchild of Cathy Draine, the Director of Community Engagement for SPAM (the union for the Mass State Police). Draine, who works part-time for SPAM, is a longtime community organizer who is familiar with the needs of the elderly population.

The troopers are starting with “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren," a group made up of grandparents who are facing the challenge of raising another generation after bringing up their own kids.

“We should be concerned for all of the elderly who may face social isolation during this pandemic,” said Draine. “However, grandparents who are raising their grandchildren may be particularly vulnerable because many are homeschooling children who also don’t have the usual opportunities for interactions with their peers. We saw this as the way for our troopers to lend some support through a friendly phone call.”

"Chat with a Trooper" is a great reminder that we should all be doing our part and calling any older people in our lives that could probably use a little pick-me-up during social distancing. A quick phone can make a big difference in the day for an older person.

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