Senior Companions provide older adults with the opportunity to apply their life experiences to meeting community needs. Almost 900 Senior Companions provide services through 10 projects across Texas.
Frail elderly are able to remain in their own homes and out of nursing homes with the assistance of Senior Companions. Older adult volunteers are placed with frail elderly clients to provide companionship and in-home support.
Selected volunteer stations refer clients to the program. Program staff in cooperation with the volunteer stations, are responsible for the training, placement, and supervision of the senior companions.
Senior companions provide assistance in a number of areas including
Socialization: providing companionship, talking and listening, offering peer counseling
Escort services: accompanying clients to doctor or medical appointments or to recreational and social events
Support care: exploring community services, communicating client needs to program staff, assisting with respite care
Personal care: assisting with grooming, eating, and exercising
Home management: assisting with light housekeeping/meal preparation
Senior Companions is open to healthy individuals age 55 and over. All applicants undergo a background check and an interview, as well as pre-service and in-service training on such topics as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and issues related to mental health.
Senior Companions serve an average of 20 hours per week. In exchange for their service, income eligible senior companions may receive a stipend of $2.65 an hour. The stipend is not regarded as income and does not affect other benefits or assistance the companions may receive