Senior citizens enjoy company just like anybody else. Fortunately, Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia offers a friendly visitor program so that our seniors can experience some type of companionship. Here is a close look at this program.
Friendly Visitor Program Details
Our friendly visitor program is designed to create opportunities for senior citizens to have a companion at least once or twice a week. This can include:
- Sharing a meal together
- Reading to the senior aloud
- Playing a game
- Assisting with light chores such as cleaning or taking out the garbage
- Helping with grocery shopping, doctors’ appointments, or other similar errands
- Going with the senior to church, the salon, or to visit friends or neighbors
- Any other type of activity a senior might enjoy
All of these services can help make a major difference in an elderly person’s life on both a practical and personal level. This is especially true for seniors whose physical or mental health is severely compromised. In these cases, visitors can help seniors set reminders for appointments or to take medication, in cases where this is needed.
Benefits of Friendly Visiting
Research shows that elders who don’t have the opportunity to regularly interact with others can often experience physical and mental health issues. Therefore, it’s important for elders to have this opportunity. Volunteers visiting a senior can also enjoy this time and learn from their visits. They can discover that they share common interests with the senior and thus form a bond that lasts for years.
Special Skills Needed
There are no high-level skills that are required for this program, only the desire to help and serve as a true companion to a senior! However, it can be beneficial if you speak a second language (e.g. Spanish) or American Sign Language (ASL). If you have previously taken care of an elderly person (e.g. family member or friend), this will likely be helpful. The most important thing is that you are regularly present for the senior and that you are a strong “match” for them. Just remember that this is a fairly long commitment (at least a few months), although the hours are flexible and based around you and your senior’s schedules.
Become a Friendly Visitor Today
Speak to the professionals at Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia (SCNOVA) to become a member of our friendly visitor program today. Since 1998, we have been dedicated to helping improve the quality of life of adults ages 50 and up. We have more than 250 vetted and trained volunteers who strive to help elders in any way they can, including the alleviation of loneliness and isolation. Call SCNOVA today at (703) 260-9568 or contact us online to learn more about our Friendly Visitor Program.