Volunteers in our In-Home Connections program visit seniors and adults with disabilities in their homes and on the phone, offering support and friendship. They make the difference in staying independent and connected to the community. Volunteers help with yard work, light housekeeping and paperwork chores that are essential for health and safety. For those who need extra time and assistance with grocery shopping and errands, volunteers shop with the care receivers. Once paired, volunteers set their own schedule and serve 4 – 8 hours a month.
Friendly visiting Volunteers provide friendship and companionship for older adults and adults with disabilities who may be lonely and socially isolated. Typically, friendly visiting Volunteers are matched with Care Receivers who live alone or who are alone during the day. Every effort is made to match Volunteers with Care Receivers according to interests, availability, geographic location, or by similarities between the Care Receiver and the Volunteer.
Friendly visiting Volunteers usually commit to one to two hours per visit– either weekly, every other week or monthly–depending on the Volunteer’s availability and the Care Receiver’s needs.
Some Care Receivers request support or socialization via the telephone. There are two different types of TeleCare calls:
- Telephone Support/Reassurance is designed to be a five-minute (or less) phone call placed every day (or every weekday) at a given time to check on senior adults or adults with disabilities who live alone in order to reassure them and ensure their safety.
- Friendly Telephone Visits are usually longer telephone calls that take place once or twice a week and are intended to reduce social isolation by connecting the senior adult or adult with disabilities to another person in the community. These may begin as short calls and then become longer as the Volunteer and the Care Receiver get better acquainted, sometimes stretching to 20 minutes or more.
The Center recognizes that housekeeping chores which are essential for cleanliness, health and safety can be very difficult and burdensome for some older adults and other adults with disabilities. The Center’s Volunteers provide light housekeeping services for Care Receivers up to twice monthly in order to help them maintain a clean and safe living environment. The Center’s light housekeeping services include cleaning the 2 to 4 rooms most frequented by the Care Receiver.
Light Yard work
The Center’s Volunteers provide light yard work services for Care Receivers who live in their own homes. These services focus on essential yard maintenance and safety. Yard work services are coordinated through The Center or one of its partners. These services are usually seasonal and often provided on an “as needed” basis.
Whenever possible, The Center strongly encourages Volunteers to transport and shop “with” rather than “for” Care Receivers so that they can participate actively in their own shopping and errand-running. We also recognizes that there are Care Receivers who are not able to be out of their homes, either temporarily or on a more permanent basis, or who cannot be transported by Center Volunteers. These Care Receivers need others to run errands and shop for them. Many Volunteers provide this service as they do their own shopping and errands. Care Receivers are aware that they need to pay for their own purchases.
The Center’s Volunteers provide assistance for Care Receivers who need help with handling, sorting and organizing their mail and other paperwork. Typically Volunteers will offer this service once or twice per month on an ongoing basis, although there are also requests for short-term or occasional assistance.
The Center for Volunteer Caregiving takes great care to match a volunteer and family. The Volunteer should feel comfortable handling the Care Receiver’s level of functioning. The Care Receiver should feel comfortable and respected by his/her new Volunteer companion.