Senior Companion Program:
The Senior Companion Program (SCP) provides individuals who are at least 55 years of age, and living at or below 200% of the poverty income guideline, with meaningful volunteer opportunities in their community. SCP volunteers receive a non-taxable hourly stipend, mileage reimbursement and a meal on days volunteered, enabling them to serve at no cost. All volunteers receive 40 hours of training prior to their first assignment.
Volunteers spend time in private homes and a variety of care settings, such as retirement homes, adult day care centers, nursing homes, and adult foster care homes. They help adults with special needs, such as those with developmental/physical disabilities, mental illness or frailty achieve and maintain the highest possible level of independent living. SCP volunteers provide companionship and assistance to 4-5 clients. A volunteer might take a homebound senior grocery shopping, assist an individual with developmental disabilities learn a new life skill or escort a frail adult to a medical appointment. There is no cost to the clients for these services.
Without the help of Senior Companions, many older adults would not be able to continue living at home and would need more expensive, less personal care.
Can you be a Senior Companion? Senior Companions are:
Over 55 years of age;
Can volunteer 15 to 40 hours per week;
Have a limited income; and
Love to help their neighbors
Senior Companions become part of a team of caregivers. They alert doctors and family members to potential health problems. Senior Companions also provide short periods of relief to primary caregivers such as family members.
As a Senior Companion, you’ll receive:
Pre-service and on-going training
An annual physical examination
Help with transportation costs
A small stipend for those who qualify
The joy of helping others live on their own.
The individuals helped by Senior Companions receive:
Assistance with important daily tasks
Encouragement to remain active
A watchful eye to notice when they need extra care
A friendship that can last a lifetime.
You don’t need medical or technical skills to be a Senior Companion. All you need to know is how to be a friend. Senior Companions offer adults contact with the world outside of their homes and make their lives less lonely. Along the way, Senior Companions find out that few things feel as good as knowing you’re needed.
SCP is sponsored by Senior Services, Inc. and is a program of the National Senior Service Corp. Funding is provided by the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, the Michigan Department of Community Health, the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, and by private donors.
To become an SCP volunteer or for more information, please call Karen Betley, SCP Director, at (269) 382-0515. You can also email Karen directly by clicking on HERE