Senior Companions at the Dr. Piper Center are making a difference for frail elders who need personal assistance, help with solving problems, or even just a friend. These volunteers provide the type of help many older adults need when living in isolation. For the Senior Companions, volunteer service means activity, accomplishment and purpose.
Senior Companions help ease loneliness and isolation, and clients are able to live with dignity and independence through the program. Over 1,200 seniors in our area need a friend, and the Dr. Piper Center has more than 150 companions available. These volunteers provide more than 81,000 hours of companionship service each year.
Serving 20 hours per week, Senior Companions volunteers receive modest, tax-free stipends, transportation allowance, hot meals (where available), accident and liability insurance, and an annual physical exam.
Because our volunteer companions are also seniors, they are able to connect with our clients and share common concerns, memories, and perspectives. For a frail elder, this companionship can be a lifeline to living with dignity and independence.
Since 1993, the Senior Companions Program has enabled more than 400 senior volunteers to provide 500,000 hours of assistance to frail elders and adults with disabilities who are at risk of premature institutionalization in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Desoto, Hendry and Sarasota Counties. For both clients and companions, the Senior Companions Program means enjoying the best that life has to offer.
Social isolation is a problem that too many older adults face. Our volunteer Senior Companions provide friendship, company, and personal assistance to frail elders, most of whom live alone.
For our clients, this program offers renewed dignity, independence, and a reprieve from daily isolation. For our senior companions, the program provides a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Senior companions are asked to provide 20 hours of volunteer service per week.
Volunteers who meet income and eligibility requirements receive a modest, tax-free stipend, a transportation allowance, and an annual physical exam.
The Dr. Piper center is a proud local sponsor of the Senior Corps Senior Companions Program. Senior Corps is a network of national service programs for Americans 55 years and older, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Senior Corps volunteers commit their time to address critical community needs including academic tutoring and mentoring, elderly care, disaster relief support, and more.