Senior Companion Program
Senior Companions Change Lives
Senior Companion volunteers age 55 and older help homebound and isolated older adults continue living independently in their homes by providing companionship, transportation, and caregiver respite. Due to the rising number of older adults who report feeling lonely or isolated, we are continuously looking for new volunteers to help meet the need for meaningful connections in our community.
Senior Companions are trained volunteers who visit with their clients one or more times weekly, depending on the needs of each person being served. Many Senior Companions serve as many as 20 or 30 hours each week. Volunteers receive monthly training, individual coaching and support, and a small tax-exempt. stipend for their service to offset the costs of volunteering. In addition to the fulfillment of helping others, ongoing training offers opportunities for personal growth and development.
Volunteers with PCOA’s Senior Companion Program work alongside more than 200,000 older adults nationwide who make a difference in their communities through AmeriCorps Seniors programs, including Foster Grandparent, RSVP, and the Senior Companion Program. These volunteer programs are overseen by AmeriCorps and channel the power of older volunteers to improve their communities.
Senior Companions strive to serve our Spanish-speaking community members by matching them with bilingual volunteers whenever possible, or offering translation assistance from our bilingual program staff. Elders living on the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reservations are matched with volunteers who also speak their native language. All volunteers receive continuous training on cultural and LGBTQ sensitivity.
Senior Companions make an incredible difference in the lives of older people and those with physical disabilities. Many of the people served by Senior Companions live alone, are isolated and frequently depressed. Through the friendship and encouragement of Senior Companions, people who rarely or never leave their homes have the opportunity to reconnect with their communities and regain some of their independence. And Senior Companion volunteers will tell you that as much as they give, and enjoy giving, they receive back in gratitude, in friendship, and in the satisfaction of making a difference.
Are you interested in becoming a Senior Companion? Volunteers must income qualify and pass a background check. An hourly stipend and expense reimbursement are available. For more details, please contact 520-305-3453.
How the Program Works
To make sure that services are available to those in greatest need of support, we work with seven community partners to pair Senior Companions with their clients, including the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui nations, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, the Southern AZ VA Healthcare System, St. Luke’s Home, and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Senior Companions also serve current clients of PCOA’s family caregiving and in-home services programs.
These programs and organizations provide additional supportive services to older adults, which the Senior Companions supplement. The Senior Companion program is not available as a stand-alone service to ensure homes are assessed for safety and that Senior Companion volunteers are not the only source of support in place. PCOA does not directly match community members with Senior Companion volunteers, but is responsible for recruiting, vetting and training the best possible candidates to help reduce isolation and loneliness in collaboration with our community partners. You can learn more about this great volunteer opportunity through our monthly articles featured in Never Too Late, or by calling our Senior Companion Program office at 520-305-3453.
To learn about services offered by PCOA and other community organizations, please call our Helpline at (520) 790-7262.