No matter how busy she is, and even when she’s on vacation, Erin McLeod stops every night at 10 p.m. to make a phone call. On the other end is her 104-year-old friend, Henrietta Daytz, in her assisted-living facility in Sarasota, Fla. McLeod asks about Henrietta’s day and wishes her a good night. “She’s like family now,” says McLeod, president of the Senior Friendship Centers in Florida, which serve older adults. “It’s something we both look forward to.”
McLeod started calling when Daytz turned 99 and was still living independently. She says she figured that Daytz, a longtime volunteer at the senior center, could use someone checking in on her. McLeod’s family and friends sometimes join in on speakerphone.