We are proud of our Retired and Senior Volunteers Program. Since taking over the program in April we’ve focused on rebuilding the basis of the long-standing program in Great Falls while adding new aspects to it including social media, a full website and an online listing of positions. But as pleased as we are with ourselves RSVP is only one of the Senior Corps programs that focus on mobilizing seniors and putting their experience and compassion to work in the community.
Senior Companions are volunteers age 55 and over who make a difference by providing assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. The program’s goal is to help homebound seniors and adults with special needs continue living in their own homes as independently as possible. Senior Companions do many basic, but essential things to help their clients such as provide transportation for errands, assist with simple chores, help monitor medications and nutrition, assist with walking or exercise, provide companionship and friendship and write letters or fill out forms.
Senior Companions serve 15 to 40 hours per week helping an average of two to four adult clients live independently in their own homes. They receive an orientation and pre-service training before they get started and have monthly training sessions while serving. Being a Senior Companion is open to anyone over 55 years of age.
There are many benefits to being a Senior Companion in addition to helping another person and making a difference in the lives of others. Senior Companions received reimbursement for transportation costs, some meals during service, annual physical paid by the organization, accident and liability insurance while on duty and recognition events. Those who qualify also receive as modest, tax-free stipend to offset the costs of volunteering, paid vacation, sick leave and holiday pay.
The local Senior Companions program is overseen by Cascade County Aging Services. To become a Senior Companion contact Betty Langan by phone 406.454.6990, at 1801 Benefis Court Great Falls or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.