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Senior New Ways has launched its Care Facility Visitor Service!
In the spring of 2011, Senior New Ways volunteers began visiting residents of care facilities in the Bay Area, from Redwood City to Santa Clara. We are now in ten care facilities of the 162 in Santa Clara County. Residents need regular visitors, and the staff are too busy being staff. Even with family and friends close by, the days become very long.
Visiting is primarily a regular friendly face that helps the older adult feel important and worthwhile. No particular skills beyond basic friendliness are necessary. No services are required beyond the visit itself.
Volunteer visitors spend from 30-60 minutes once or twice a week with designated residents, who are often recommended to visitors by activity directors and "matched" to the visitor. Visitors have one or two persons to visit. Many residents are in "nursing centers" or assisted living, and a smaller number are in independent living. Many care facilities have all three types of arrangements.
We train our volunteers, and visitors and residents are matched by interests. Schedules are completely flexible. Most facilities require a TB test, a few require fingerprinting and a physical, along with an application, much like a staff member.
Los Altos, CA Volunteer Day Signs Up Volunteer Visitors
Senior New Ways attended the First Annual Los Altos “Become the Entrepreneur of Your Life” event, April 2, and found several volunteer visitors from the “boomers and beyond” attendees. We connected with several service organizations who offered speaking engagements, partnerships, and some financial support in our mission. We were able to distribute our visiting literature and signage to many of the other volunteer groups attending.
Only 5% of older adults are in care facilities… yet we have over 600 residents on rosters to be visited in the ten care facilities we currently serve, and we currently have too few volunteers.
Although any person over the age of eighteen is eligible to be a volunteer, Senior New Ways will make every effort to encourage and promote this activity for "boomers and beyond".