“Senior Helpers” Volunteer Program
Debra believes that keeping our clients moving, both physically and cognitively is vital for good health. As we age we stop working, we don’t see our friends and family as often, we find it harder to do everyday tasks, and before we realize it we have become secluded, lonely and bored. This, I am sure was not the vision we had for our “golden years”.
Debra has developed a wonderful program for some of our clients called the “Senior Helpers” Volunteer Program in which any of our clients are eligible to join if they wish. We discuss at length with our clients about their life and interests, and take into consideration their physical and cognitive abilities. We then find several volunteer opportunities for that particular client to choose from. Every client is doing something different. Each volunteer opportunity is tailored to that client and caregiver’s interest, desire and commitment level. This program has significantly changed the lives of our clients. It is truly amazing to see our client’s blossom with this unique program.
Maybe your mom knits. She and her caregiver can make blankets to donate to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the hospitals or a Battered Woman’s Shelter. If you love animals, we can help at a local Animal Shelter. Perhaps, you would like to volunteer at Geva Theater and see a free show. One of our “Senior Helpers” is teaching computer skills, for the Digital Literacy Program through the Literacy Volunteers. While doing this he helps people fill out job applications on-line. It is so wonderful to see our clients “awake” again and actually ask to go out and participate in life. Home Helpers is always coming up with ideas and programs for our clients and caregivers. Volunteering in the community gives our clients a way to feel needed and appreciated. It gets them motivated to keep going. This program has brought smiles to many of our clients and caregivers. It has been a huge success.
Ed and Josie
Ed and Josie volunteer at the Mission Shares Food Pantry. Mission Shares is an emergency food cupboard and a store for people to get free clothing and toiletries. Ed has a special place in his heart for Mission Shares. He looks forward to their trips every week. Ed says volunteering at Mission Shares makes him feel like a “million dollars”. They visit Mission Shares once a week and hang up clothing in the store and stock canned goods in the pantry. www.missionshareoutreach.org
Bill and Susan
Home Helpers client Bill and his care partner Susan volunteer at Scottsville Animal Hospital and Adoption Center. Bill has a love of animals so this was a perfect fit. Many dogs and cats are anxiously waiting for loving familes to adopt them.
Bill and Susan come once a week to play with the cats and they can choose any dog to take out in the enclousure for some quality play time, or a walk on the path. Both Bill and his furry friends enjoy the interaction.
“The Little Green Bookshelf”
The “Little Green Bookshelf” is a program where “Senior Helper” Jim and caregiver Jeanette adopted a table top bookshelf and keep it stocked full of books provided by the Literacy Volunteers. The shelf has children, teen and adult books that are free to the public. They simply check to see what types of books need to be restocked and then ensure there are a variety of books to choose from. This is a great match for one of our clients who is a retired teacher and wanted something to do when he feels up to it.
Furry Friend Visits
Home Helpers realizes that animals bring many benefits and smiles to our clients. Studies show that petting a dog or cat can actually release endorphins or “feel good” hormones into the body. This can help you feel calmer and it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Home Helpers offers free furry Friend Visits to some of our clients.
One of our clients family told us at his funeral service that their Dad “talked about that dog Smokie every day until the day he died.”