The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
Active low-income seniors are and trained to serve in the homes of frail-seniors to provide light services and companionship for a tax-free stipend and other benefits.
We recruit and train low-income seniors, age 60 or older, to go into the homes of frail-seniors to prevent them from having to go into a nursing home prematurely.
The volunteers serve 20 hours a week in the home or homes of the clients. The volunteers complete an initial 40-hour pre-service training (over two weeks) and then are assigned to partnering agencies in the community. These agencies, in turn, assign the Companions to frail-elderly clients who need in-home assistance.
The volunteers receive several benefits for providing these services. They receive a tax-free hourly stipend of $2.55 per hour. Each Companion is provided a meal for each day of service and transportation to and from the home of the client. If the volunteer drives, they are reimbursed for their mileage.
The Senior Companion Program benefits all who are involved. First, the volunteer is able to remain active in a meaningful way and receive a tax-free stipend. Second, the agencies benefit by getting volunteers to supplement their services to the community. Third, the clients and their families receive the services of the Companion at no cost to them. Fourth, the clients are able to stay home where they are happier, safer, and can live with dignity.