The Senior Companion Program began at Evelyn Rubenstein JCC in 1992. The Senior Companion Program brings together volunteers age 55 and over with senior adults in their community who have difficulty with the simple task of day-to-day living. The program's goal is to maintain the independence of homebound seniors, allowing them to continue living in their homes with dignity.
In this program, the volunteer is matched with elderly people in the community who need assistance with normal everyday tasks.A Senior Companion can do as little as keeping a homebound senior company, to run errands, accompany them to the doctor, prepare a light meal or anything in between. This gives the individual you are helping the peace of mind knowing there is someone who cares and is willing to put in the extra effort for them. Some of these people are alone and have no one. It also may give their caregiver some time off. It does not take much to show someone you care, but your little effort can go a long way in making them feel needed and wanted. Seniors helping seniors is a win-win for the client and volunteer, the client has someone their own age whom they can communicate with and the volunteer is kept active and active seniors are healthy seniors. Our volunteers, and your donation, go a long way in helping the elderly live their lives with dignity and quality.
Mr.J is a seventy-seven-year-old referred to the Senior Companions Program by Catholic Charities. As it turns out Mr. J has been reunited with a kind-hearted gentleman whom he met at his local grocery store some six months earlier. Exhausted by a long day of shopping, medical appointments and running personal errands that day six months ago, the client met this gentleman in the store who kindly offered him a ride home so that he would not have to walk. This gentleman, whom the client thought he would never see again, was brought to his home and introduced to him as his Senior Companion volunteer. Recognizing him as the one who had responded to his need for a ride home some six months earlier, he felt an instant connection. At this time, the Senior Companion is providing a daily camaraderie for the client which the client has reported has literally changed his life. The client reports that his companion provides much-needed transportation to help him manage his utility bill payments, to get to doctor's appointments, and to do his weekly shopping. The client also reports spending time with his companion playing dominos, taking walks in the community, and engaging in other leisure activities Mr.J and Mr. F have bonded and have begun a lasting friendship.
Mr.H has been a Senior Companion volunteer for six years; he is a Viet Nam Purple Heart veteran and provides companionship to a Korean veteran, Mr.N. When Mr. N's
daughter called, she stated that she was desperate for help - she worked long hours and was concerned about her dad being alone, especially since he had been
the sole caregiver for her mother, his wife, for several years. In a surprise visit, she found that, as usual, parents do not tell their children the whole story of their health problems. She had to make the difficult decision to move her mother to a nursing home here in Houston and to move her Dad to her home. This was a new experience for Mr. N and he found being home alone most of the time upsetting.
Our Senior Companions volunteer, Mr. H, and Mr. N bonded on their first visit together, since, as veterans, they had something in common to talk about. Mr. N has stated that now he looks forward to each day, having Mr. H as his companion. Mr.H drives Mr. N to the ERJCC 3 days a week to enjoy a kosher lunch and interact with other older Jewish persons. Mr. N has stated to the SCP Director on a home visit that he feels that he has started living again thanks to Mr. H's friendship and support.
The mission of Harris County Senior Companions is to engage volunteers age 55 and over in making a difference by providing assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, helping these adults remain independent in their homes.