BGCAP - Senior Companion Program
The Senior Companion Program provides volunteer service opportunities for active low-income seniors that builds self esteem and contributes to their mental and physical well-being. This program helps the senior volunteer remain a viable, contributing member of the community by providing assistance to "at-risk" elderly who need extra support in order to maintain their independent status and to remain in their homes.
The goals of the program are two-fold:
- To help the frail elderly live as independently as possible and prevent premature institutionalization.
- To provide low-income seniors with a meaningful service opportunity and a source of income to supplement their modest fixed incomes.
Senior Companions assist the elderly by preparing meals, performing light housekeeping tasks, running errands and reminding them to take their medicine. Above all, Senior Companions provide companionship to alleviate the loneliness and depression so many homebound seniors experience.
Blue Grass Community Action Partnership sponsors the Senior Companion Program. Funding is provided by a federal grant administered by the Corporation for National Service (CNS) and by local United Way support. In-home services to frail elderly clients are provided at no charge.
The program's service area includes the following ten counties: Anderson, Boyle, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Jessamine, Lincoln, Mercer, Scott and Woodford. Companions work out of a local volunteer station in their county. Volunteer stations include Senior Citizens Centers, public and congregate housing facilities, home health agencies and hospices.
Senior Companion volunteers must be 55 years of age and meet income guidelines. They volunteer 20 hours per week and receive a stipend of approximately $200 per month. Stipend income is not taxable and not included as income for government benefit programs such as food stamps, rental subsidy or Medicare/Medicaid.
From avoidance of nursing home placement of the frail elderly, to providing supplemental income for seniors finding it difficult to buy food and medicine, this neighbor-helping-neighbor program is improving the quality of life for Central Kentucky seniors.