Senior Companions, a health department program, has been around nationally since 1973 but has recently undergone some changes in Rogers County.
Jenny Allen is overseeing the newly re-launched program and says they’ve adapted and are finding new ways to renovate senior companion services.
1. What is the Senior Companions Program?
First and foremost, the program recognizes the need for support and assistance to older adults trying to maintain independence in their own homes. The senior companion volunteer can be placed in a home where an older adult is attempting to avoid placement in an institution and trying to increase his or her self-sufficiency or where a caregiver needs a respite from caregiving duties.
The heart of the program centers on prevention. Senior Companions delay or prevent unneeded and unwanted nursing home placement. The program provides a needed service to older residents of Craig, Ottawa and Rogers counties and also enriches the life of the Senior Companion through the provision of service opportunity, educational programs, recognition, case management, physical wellness and socialization activities.”
2. Who can participate?
To become a senior companion you must be 55years or older, live in Rogers, Craig or Ottawa Counties and be able to work a minimum of 15 hours a week.
To qualify to become a client you must be 60 years or older, live in Rogers, Craig or Ottawa Counties and need assistance on a weekly basis.
Our volunteers receive a tax-free stipend per hour and are paid mileage round trip to their client.
3. What do senior companion volunteers do?
Volunteers can assist with shopping, respite for caregivers, and other support activities.
4. What safety precautions have been put in place because of COVID?
The Senior Companion volunteers are now doing home visits, but with restrictions. Clients must sign a waiver and agree to take precautions and follow CDC guidelines for safety. All senior companions will be wearing a mask and following CDC guidelines.
5. Where can people find more information?
Additonal information can be found on the health department website and by emailing Jenny Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org