Spend time with your neighbors in need.
Would you enjoy visiting with one of our care receivers for a few hours a month? Are you in need of a break from caregiving? Does your son or daughter, husband, or wife need a couple of hours to go shopping or to go to their own appointments? Hearts & Hands Companionship program may be the answer.
Frequently, individuals who are responsible for caring for an elderly family member are expected to provide care around the clock, including on weekends and holidays. This can quickly become overwhelming for the caregiver, who may also have a job and family of their own. In some cases, this level of ongoing stress can lead to caregiver burnout, making it even more difficult to provide appropriate care.
Hearts & Hands is in need of volunteers to provide respite for caregivers and make friendly visits to some of our care receivers. Volunteers do not do anything medical or hands-on. Training is available for anyone wanting to be a Companion Volunteer.
What services are included?
Volunteers provide our care recipients with friendly companionship, giving the caregiver a chance to run errands or just take some time for themselves.
Recreational activities include:
Coffee and Conversation
Social isolation and loneliness are serious problems for many older adults. Hearts & Hands services help alleviate some of these problems for our care receivers, but we also know that more is needed.
According to AARP, socially isolated people have higher risks for cardiovascular disease, infection, hypertension, and premature cognitive decline. Having social connections reduces the risk of early death by 50 percent. Social isolation is as bad for one’s health as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Demographically, social isolation occurs more among men than women, but it occurs about equally among people who are living alone or living with someone, as well people who are single or married.
Gift cards to local coffee shops are available for volunteers who want to participate in this program. The volunteer will invite a care receiver for coffee (or tea) and conversation. This could be included as part of a scheduled ride or as a standalone activity.
This type of socialization already happens on an informal basis among our volunteers and care receivers, but at the volunteer’s expense. Establishing this as a formal program will allow Hearts & Hands to encourage and expand these interactions between our volunteers and care receivers. Providing a gift card will decrease the out-of-pocket expenses for our volunteers.
Kevin who calls me monthly, if he doesn’t hear for me, calls me again. When we do connect, he listens to my problems. All I need.