Region 10 is pleased to introduce the newest program of Community Living Services: the Senior Companion Program. The Senior Companion Program is a volunteer-based project that utilizes compassionate individuals, age 55 and older, to help alleviate issues of isolation among aging adults in the area. Qualifying volunteers earn a small stipend in exchange for services, as well as mileage reimbursement. Volunteers not only provide companionship to other seniors but also provide respite for caregivers. The Senior Companion Program will also creatively supplement light in-home services, for which there is currently a waitlist at Region 10.
Senior Companion volunteers are matched with individuals in need to help supplement their care needs or provide companionship. Volunteers may be asked to assist their clients with mailings and bills or with transportation to and from meal sites or for light errands or medical appointments. Volunteers may also elect to help with light housekeeping such as taking out the trash, doing dishes, or helping with laundry. All volunteers provide companionship to their clients, to help mitigate the adverse effects of isolation and loneliness among these vulnerable groups.
Volunteers can expect a rewarding experience serving as a senior companion. A small hourly stipend that does not count towards taxable income is paid for service. Volunteers are reimbursed for any miles driven to perform their companion duties and are also offered regular training opportunities and service recognition events.
The Senior Companion Program will help to mitigate isolation in vulnerable adults, and also make up for the tremendous need for light in-home services. It will simultaneously supplement the deficits in funding to provide light home care while making a difference in the lives of at-risk seniors in the community. If you or somebody you know is interested in enriching the lives of others and becoming a senior companion volunteer, please contact Madison at (970) 765-3125.