In the world of elder care, those of us in the industry, like Support For Home, often tend to think of a limited set of resources:
- Family Caregivers
- Professional Home Care Aides
- Medical Providers
- Other Service Providers (DMEs, Fiduciaries, Trust Attorneys, …)
A critical resource that is too often overlooked are the volunteers who do such an incredible job of making our elders’ lives happier and healthier. Some of these volunteers are from well know groups such as Meals on Wheels, others from churches and folks like Rotary or Kiwanis or Lions clubs.
One incredible group in our area, the greater Sacramento region, is Citizens Who Care. These folks operate in Yolo County, west of Sacramento. Citizens Who Care has three major programs, described on their Website:
THE IN-HOME RESPITE VISITING PROGRAM provides family caregivers of older adults with a weekly break from caregiving. We provide companionship and social support to both the older adult and the caregiver. Our respite volunteers are trained and supported by CWC’s professional staff.
THE CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL VISITING PROGRAM provides companionship and mental stimulation to socially isolated, elderly residents. Volunteers of all ages are matched with residents. Pet visiting volunteers bring their friendly, well-behaved pets to lift the spirits of residents. Each convalescent hospital volunteer is trained by our Director of Volunteers.
THE TIME OFF FOR CAREGIVERS PROGRAM offers site-based social respite activities at the Davis Senior Center two Saturdays a month, giving caregivers a five-hour break each program day. A healthy lunch and stimulating activities are provided. Our professional staff provides periodic individual assessments of the participants.
As a home care agency, there are a lot of services we provide that volunteers cannot, but they are such an important part of the “solution” to aging in place. If you live in Yolo County and either need these services or wish to volunteer, give Citizens Who Care a call – (530) 758-3704. If you live in a different area, check out the volunteer resources in your community. They are there and they are critical.
Best wishes, Bert