Seniors Helping Seniors: Senior Companion Program
The B/S/S/T (Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna/Tioga) Area Agency on Aging has been awarded a three year grant through AmeriCorps Seniors to start and maintain a program that will aim to increase socialization, decrease loneliness, build lasting friendships and help seniors to function safely at home. The SENIOR COMPANION PROGRAM first began in the 1970’s in locations around the country. B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging is one of five Sponsors in Pennsylvania awarded grant funding to offer this program in their communities.
June Werner is the Senior Companion Program Director for AAA. She is responsible for getting the program up and running. June is seeking individuals who are at least 55 years old, income eligible and who enjoy the companionship of other seniors. The Volunteers will earn $3.00 per hour, tax free, and the income will not affect their government benefits. Volunteers will be reimbursed for mileage, receive $5.00 toward a daily meal when they serve, receive paid time off and have holiday time off. The Volunteers will receive preservice training and be assigned one or more seniors with whom they visit; depending upon how many hours and how many days they would like to serve. There will also be continuing training and recognition programs.
June explained that this program is proven to help seniors who have been socially isolated, perhaps home-bound, are alone or lonely for any number of reasons, enjoy the company of peers again. It can also be an opportunity for a family care-giver to have a few hours off while the Volunteer visits.
If you’d like to learn more about this program, contact June Werner at 1-800-982-4346. She is looking forward to forming lasting friendships between seniors all over the area!
Writing: Deb Bastian
Produced by Vogt Media