SENIOR COMPANION PROGRAM
Pamela Carre, Program Director
Sonia Convery, Program Coordinator
Maria Torres, Part-time Program Coordinator
Volunteers Making Independence a Reality
The goal of the Senior Companion Program is to assist older adults to age in place.
Senior Companion volunteers are 55 years and older who are low-income and trained to provide friendship and companionship at no cost to elderly individuals who are often living alone and may be at risk for institutional placement. Senior Companions serve as the eyes and ears of the agency detecting changes or potential problems with clients.
Senior Companions provide services to frail elderly, adults with disabilities and terminal illnesses who need extra assistance to live independently in their own homes. The volunteers and their clients benefit from the program which helps them to maintain independence, reduce isolation, improve positive mental health, quality of life and their dignity.
Senior Companions encourage clients with their daily activities, whether it’s preparing a meal, going for walks, playing games, reading mail/newspaper, or giving families or caregivers of clients much-needed time off.
Senior Companions visit three to six clients weekly and serve up to 20 hours per week. Most are entitled to a tax-free hourly stipend, reimbursement for mileage and meals, if they meet eligibility guidelines.
Program Benefits & Impact
In fiscal Year 2011-2012: 139 Volunteers provided companionship services to 452 clients and completed 91,211 volunteer service hours, valued at $1,948, 266, (7,980 hours were provided through the Respite Program).
According to Broward County 2011 Profile, 101,873 seniors live alone; many are homebound, frail or disabled with no connection to the community or family living locally. Florida Department of Elder Affairs – Summary of Programs & Services Report, January 2012 – indicated that 4.4 million residents are 60 and older. Florida currently ranks first in the nation in the percentage of its citizens who are elders and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future (23 percent in 2009 growing to 35 percent in 2030).
Benefits to the Volunteers and Clients
Improved attitude, maintained independence, improved mental and physical health, reduced isolation and improved quality of life, and reduced risk of placing seniors in nursing home and assisted living facilities (ALF’s) due to inability to perform daily activities.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – 2010 National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information indicated that the average cost in the U.S. for Long Term Care-Semi-Private Room is $205/day costing $74,825 annually.
Make a difference in the community that strengthens and helps preserve the Client’s and Volunteer’s independence.
Enables the clients to live independently and prevents premature institutionalization.
Helps low-income senior volunteers facing financial hardship providing additional monthly income.
Volunteering leads to new discoveries, new friends, live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life.
- 1,753,162 Broward County Population
- 108, 384 Veterans residing in Broward County
- 55,657 Broward County residents with two or more disabilities
- 38,449 Broward County residents with probable Alzheimer’s Cases
Make Independence a Reality – join Senior Companions today.
“Did You Know”
- 2,982 Assisted Living Facilities
- 380 Adult Family Care Homes
- 677 Nursing Homes
- 477 Local Governments
- 240+ Senior Centers
- 15 Memory Disorder Centers
- More than 5.5 million “Meals on Wheels” delivered to homebound elders
- More than 4.5 million meals served at nutrition sites, preventing isolation and loneliness
- 1,042,376 Florida residents 60+ Living Alone
- 108,384 Veterans in Broward County, 2011
- 1,650,876 Veterans in State of Florida, 2011
State of Florida, Elder Services Network – October 2011
Florida Department of Elder Affairs – Summary of Programs and Services, January 2012
2011 Florida State Profile
Did You Know?
In 2011, Impact Broward leveraged $1.9 million of charitable donations into volunteer services worth $6.7 million to the South Florida community.