Family & Elders Program
60% of nursing home residents receive no personal visitors.
Our Family and Elders Program provides the opportunity for individuals or families to “adopt” an elder, or elders, who have no personal visitors. The elders are residents of nursing homes or assisted living communities. This is such a mutually rewarding experience. Volunteers always report that they receive more than they could possibly give, and that it is a deeply fulfilling relationship with the elder. Families report that it is such a meaningful experience for family members to share. With everyone being so busy with their own interests, this is a time the family comes together to give of themselves. Families have also said that it has made a positive difference in family dynamics. Coming together to give love, just creates more love for everyone involved!
The first step is to fill out the application. We conduct a background check for all volunteers 18 and above. The second step is to participate in a education and training orientation, so as to enable meaningful and comfortable interactions with elders of all cognitive functioning levels, including those with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. With the Bessie’s Hope training, you will be able to cultivate long term, mutually beneficial relationships.
The third step is the “Placement Visit”, at which the Life Enrichment/Activity Director or the Social Services Director introduces us to a few elders who either receive no personal visitors or who is seldomly visited by family or personal friends.
There are many appealing elements within this volunteer program. You don’t have to have a schedule. You drop in to visit, as you would a family member. This is what the goal is—the relationship becomes like family and mutually rewarding. Also, if you choose to not adopt just one or two elders, you can create your own project for several elders at the home. For example, you can provide nail polishing and hand cream for all the ladies who come to your own scheduled “spa” time. If you do choose to create a group experience, it does have to be scheduled in advance. If it’s an ongoing group activity, you can commit to every month, twice a month, weekly, etc. Another example, you can choose to play a musical instrument as your time of enhancing the elders’ lives!
To get involved, please fill out a Family and Elders Program Volunteer application. You will be contacted when it is received. Someone is waiting just for you– or your family!