Senior Companion Program reaches out to council
ONEIDA — A representative of InterFaith Works of Central New York spoke before the common council at Tuesday’s meeting, asking the city for help with their Senior Companion Program.
“One-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated,” assistant director of volunteer programs Serena Jackson said. “Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, transportation difficulties, location, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.”
InterFaith Works officials said they recognize the need to serve the older population and highlighted its Senior Companion Program.
“This program recruits older volunteers, aged 55 and up, that fall into the income guidelines to provide in-home companionship to seniors in need with a stipend,” Jackson said. “Services that our companions provide include friendly visits, transportation, light chores, hobbies, and respite for caregivers.”
Jackson added that a study conducted on the effect of the Senior Companion Program found that two-thirds of Senior Corps volunteers reported a decrease in feelings of isolation, and 67% of those who first reported they often lacked companionship stated that they had improved social connections.
“Our goal is to utilize the community to help us combat loneliness, as we understand having someone within your same community is important as well,” Jackson said. “We know that sometimes it’s not easy for our older population to trust new people, especially those who aren’t from the community. I am here today to appeal to the residents of the city of Oneida and Madison County to help us serve and enhance the lives of those that need companionship.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here