Senior Companion


The Fergus Falls Senior Citizens Program, Inc. is proud to host the Senior Companion Program, in collaboration with Lutheran Social Service and the National Senior Service Corps.

 

Senior Companion

Celebrating over 40 years of service!

 

What is the purpose of the Senior Companion Program?

Through their assistance and friendship, Senior Companions help others live independently in their homes rather than having to move to expensive, institutional care. Senior Companions assist clients with grocery shopping, transportation to medical appointments, and more. They offer contact with the outside world and help make the lives of the people they serve less lonely.

What are the requirements and benefits of becoming a Senior Companion?

Senior Companions are at least 60 years old, meet income eligibility requirements, and serve two or more clients during their minimum of 15 hours of service each week. They must participate in pre-service orientation and in training workshops throughout their service.

In exchange for their service, Senior Companions will:

• Find new friends

• Learn new things

• Help others

• Volunteer 15 hours per week with a flexible schedule

• Feel the satisfaction of making a difference

They also receive modest tax-free stipends, reimbursement for transportation, meals during service, annual physical examinations, and accident and liability insurance while on duty. Senior Companions begin serving once they have completed 40 hours of pre-service orientation training. Another four hours of training each month is required.

What is the role of the Senior Companion?

Senior Companions assist others to maintain the highest level of dignity and independent living possible by:

• Visiting homebound isolated adults

• Providing support to family caregivers

• Assisting with vital services such as
grocery shopping and appointments

• Serving as the “eyes and ears”
to the supporting agency

• Acting as a friend who listens and cares

What are some appropriate activities for Senior Companions?

Senior Companions become friends with those who are lonely and isolated. They do the things that “friends do
for friends”.

• Be a personal friend

• Help with writing letters

• Help plan healthy meals and snacks

• Share hobbies, playing cards and other games

• Go for a walk or exercise together at
an appropriate level

• Be a resource person concerning social
activities, senior dining, social service support

• Help with forms and applications

• Do errands such as going to the post office

• Help with simple household repairs and
maintenance such as changing a light bulb

What are some inappropriate activities for Senior Companions?

Senior Companions are not meant to replace family, home health care workers, or maintenance workers. They should not be used for:

• Emergency contacts when family members
are out of town

• Weekend or holiday activities–
Senior Companions volunteer Monday through Friday

• Activities performed by a health care
professional such as bathing, toe nail clipping

• Any detrimental activity

• Major household chores such as
cleaning, laundry, lawn care, shoveling

• Lifting or moving heavy items
like furniture, wheelchairs

• Extensive shopping

• Caring for or cleaning up after pets

• Acting as a legal representative

• Lending or borrowing money,
depositing cash into your bank account

• Non-essential travel

• Meal preparation for anyone but the client

Remember, Senior Companions are volunteers and are to be treated as a friend and not just free help.

How is the Senior Companion Program funded?

The Senior Companion Program is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Minnesota Board of Aging, United Way and collaborative agencies such as Lutheran Social Service of MN and the City of Fergus Falls.

How do I become a Senior Companion?

To become a Senior Companion in Fergus Falls, contact the Fergus Falls Senior Citizens Program by calling 736-6842.

How do I receive the services of a Senior Companion?

To receive the services of a Senior Companion in Fergus Falls, contact the Fergus Falls Senior Citizens Program by calling 736-6842.

 

Lutheran Social Service

National Senior Service Corps

 

For information on other senior services in the area log onto the MinnesotaHelp.Info website.