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Senior Companion Program Volunteers - Role Description

Title

Senior Companion Program Volunteer

Location

The Senior Companion Program (SCP) currently serves 13 of Maine’s 16 counties with several established host stations in each. As a Senior Companion, you will serve clients in your area and attend the monthly meetings at the nearest host station.

Objective

The Senior Companion Program is a volunteer program for older Americans who are interested in helping homebound elders or isolated adults maximize, maintain or regain their independence. The program offers a unique opportunity to become involved with people.

Qualifications

Must be 55 years of age or older, in good health, and interested in helping homebound or isolated adults. Senior Companion volunteers are also required to complete a background check. Tax-free stipend is dependent upon income eligibility.

Responsibilities

Senior Companions provide companionship: taking walks together, reading, letter writing, reminiscing, and just being a friend. They may share information about healthful living and activities of daily life or go shopping together. Perhaps one of their most important roles is to combat loneliness and isolation, which threaten independence and health. Senior Companions may also provide respite services for family caregivers.

Time Commitment

Senior Companions serve 15 or more hours per week visiting several homebound or isolated senior adults. Four hours of monthly training is provided through the UMaine Extension.

Training/Support

Twenty hours of initial orientation training, including job shadowing,  is coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.  Job shadowing with an experienced Senior Companion helps you feel comfortable with your new role. Monthly training is required through the UMaine Extension, and support is provided on a regular basis by the Senior Companion Program directors and aides.

Benefits

  • Meet new friends
  • A feeling of purpose; knowing that you are important in the lives of others
  • Tax-free stipend for income-eligible individuals (payments received by Senior Companion Volunteers are not taxable and do not affect eligibility for government benefits such as food stamps, SSI, subsidized housing, medical or heating assistance).
  • Earned vacation, sick, and holiday time
  • Mileage reimbursement or assistance with volunteer transportation expenses
  • Monthly training classes
  • Opportunity to help others
  • Supplemental Accident and Liability insurance
  • Annual physical

Supervisor

Each county office has UMaine Extension staff assigned to the Senior Companion Program. Please contact your UMaine Extension county office more information to be connected with them.


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