The Senior Companion Program
A program that is truly a win-win, the Senior Companion Program (SCP) provides meaningful work for volunteers and essential support to its recipients.
The mission of the Senior Companion Program is to provide volunteer opportunities for people aged 55 and older from various backgrounds, and to provide individualized support and assistance to other adults with physical, mental or emotional impairments, primarily the frail elderly. As part of a comprehensive care team, volunteers serve independent frail clients at home as well as offer care giver support by providing respite assistance.
The Senior Companion Program is part of Senior Corps, under the umbrella of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Senior Corps guidelines require SCP to develop partnerships with other non-profit agencies. These non-profit partners provide SCP with clients in their area that are in need of assistance. They also connect the program with prospective volunteers and provide the supervision and documentation for companions assigned in their areas.
What We Do
* Senior Companions provide companionship, friendly visiting, monitoring and assistance with light housekeeping.
* Respite care is provided to the main caregiver to afford them personal time. They can be assured their family member is in the care of someone that allows them to feel safe and comfortable.
* Senior Companions provide “hands off” service. They are not professional or medical personnel and do not bathe nor dispense medicine.
* They provide encouragement to the individual to remain active, and may assist with daily tasks.
Often Senior Companions and their clients develop friendships that last a lifetime.
The Senior Companion Program has received Proclamations from- City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. for their service to the frail and elderly citizens of Charleston as well as providing respite care for care givers and from the City of North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey, for their service and participation in honoring May as Older Americans Month.
How to Apply
Senior Companions sign up through a local non-profit agency and may serve up to 40 hours per week and must be qualified financially to serve in the program. If qualified, they may earn a tax-free, hourly stipend.
Volunteers may be assigned to frail homebound clients or be assigned to provide respite for caregivers.
Volunteers are available Monday through Friday.
Schedules and times are arranged between the client and family member. Currently, 56 Senior Companions Volunteers serve the community.
To see if you qualify, call the Charleston Area Senior Center at 843.722.4127 or email us here. We will notify you when the next training class is forming.
Senior Companions receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you serve, and supplemental accident and liability insurance while volunteering.
In addition to doing an important service for the community, Senior Companions may receive a small, tax-free stipend, travel reimbursement and socialization benefits.
And remember - our volunteers are helping others while enriching their own lives, as well.
Volunteering often leads to new discoveries and new friends. Studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life.