As a Senior Companion you will meet new friends and enhance your feelings of purpose, knowing and seeing that you are important in the lives of your clients. Through the joy of sharing and companionship, you and your clients together will increase your feelings of self-worth.
What does a Senior Companion do?
Senior Companions serve 15 or more hours per week visiting an average of 3-5 homebound or isolated senior adults. They provide companionship: taking walks together, reading, letter writing, reminiscing, and just being a friend. They may share information about healthful living and activities of daily life or go shopping together. Perhaps one of their most important roles is to combat loneliness and isolation, which threaten independence and health. Senior Companions also provide respite services for family caregivers.
Is training provided?
University of Maine Center on Aging Senior Companion Program staff coordinate twenty hours of initial orientation training, including job shadowing an experienced Volunteer Companion. Having an experienced Senior Companion Volunteer as a mentor during orientation helps you feel comfortable with your new role. Four hours of monthly training is provided through the University of Maine Center on Aging during regional meetings. This education is used by the Senior Companion Volunteers to help clients with various aspects of daily living by providing practical information on how to cope with a range of modern day problems.
Who is eligible to become a Senior Companion?
Income eligible people 55 years of age or older, in good health, and interested in helping homebound or isolated seniors and disabled adultss are eligible to become Senior Companions. A tax free stipend is provided to Senior Companion Volunteers.
What are the benefits of being a Senior Companion?
- Meet new friends
- Knowing that you are important in the lives of others
- A feeling of purpose
- Tax-free stipend (payments received by Senior Companion Volunteers are not taxable and do not affect eligibility for government benefits such as food stamps, SSI, subsidized housing, medical or heating assistance).
- Earned vacation, sick, volunteer time off, and holiday time
- Mileage reimbursement or assistance with volunteer transportation expenses
- Monthly training classes
- Opportunity to help others
- Supplemental Accident and Liability insurance
- Annual physical
How can I become a Senior Companion?
For further information and an application, call 207.262.7929.
The Senior Companion Program is sponsored by the University of Maine Center on Aging, Funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Maine DHHS- Office of Aging and Disability Services, John T. Gorman Foundation, and through tax-free contributions.