Volunteering

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) depends on volunteers to make many of our programs possible. We offer the following Volunteer Opportunities to suit your interests and schedule. Whichever you choose, you can make a difference in the lives of older people and younger people with disabilities, while enriching your own life.

Caring Neighbor

If you have a few hours each month to help a neighbor, you can: Run an errand for them while you’re running your own; Give them a break by sitting with their loved one; Take them for a walk or read them the newspaper; Shovel their sidewalk in the winter time. Skills: Being a good neighbor!

Escort/Medical Escort

Very flexible – Choose how often, where, and when to volunteer. A typical trip is two to four hours. A medical escort helps seniors by accompanying or driving them to medical appointments (volunteers can use their own cars or accompany elders in a taxi or other community transportation). Training: Additional liability insurance, and stipend provided.  Skills: Sensitivity to elders, reliability, good communication abilities. Patience with waiting for arranged transportation and dealing with anxious or frail elders is a must!

Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Visit residents of a nursing or rest home on a weekly basis, and advocate for the resolution of any issues they may have. Document all issues handled and attend a monthly staff meeting. Time commitment: two to three hours per week, flexible schedule. Must attend a three-day certification training. Skills: Good verbal and written communication skills, sensitivity to the needs of elders, ability to advocate in a professional and diplomatic manner, reliability, respect for confidentiality, and willingness to document concerns.

Medical Advocate

As a volunteer in the Medical Advocate Program, you will be matched with a senior who needs help understanding his or her medical care. You will become familiar with the senior’s medical issues, and accompany them to doctor’s visits to make sure their concerns are addressed, and to make sure the senior understands the doctor’s diagnoses, prescriptions and instructions. Training is provided. Skills: Sensitivity to elders, reliability, good communication abilities. Patience with waiting for arranged transportation and dealing with anxious or frail elders is a must!

Money Management

Assist low-income elders with bill-paying, reconciling bank statements, bank errands, and managing their money. Time commitment: four to six hours per month at your convenience, renewable each year. Brief training required. Both bill-payers and representative payees are needed. We are also seeking volunteer monitors to review client records.  Skills: Ability to balance a checkbook and reconcile bank statements, sensitivity to elders, reliability, willingness to do minimal paperwork, respect for confidentiality.

New Friend

Enrich your life by visiting an isolated senior in her/his home once a week to provide companionship, share interests and hobbies, and enjoy learning about the past through the experiences of elders. Time commitment: about one hour per week, days/evenings/weekends. Skills: Ability to form a friendship, sensitivity to elders, reliability, active listening and respect for confidentiality. Fluency in other languages a plus, but is not required.

SeniorPet

Help seniors with pet issues such as medical needs, food assistance, pet concerns, and proper procedures to insure pet safety as well as uniting seniors with senior pets. Visit seniors with pets that are certified in Canine Good Citizenship. Skills: Love of animals, sensitivity to elders, reliability, good communication abilities. Animal care experience a plus. Brief training required.

Aging and Spiritual Well-Being

“Aging and Spiritual Well-being” is an interfaith/non-denominational program which gives volunteers an opportunity to learn, serve, and grow. The program enhances the health and overall welfare of older adults struggling with depression, loss, grief, illness, or spiritual concerns of normal aging. Spiritual Caregiver volunteers receive fifty hours of spiritually-based caregiving training and are then matched with an older adult. Duties: Visit client once per week for about an hour. Meet for peer mentoring & continuing education twice per month.   Requirements: Be spiritually mature in their own faith tradition. Agree to make a two-year commitment. Receive fifty hours of spiritually based caregiving training. Provide references, and will be CORI-checked. For more information or to volunteer, please call 617-628-2601 and ask for the Aging and Spiritual Well-Being program.  Contact information for all other programs is below.

To volunteer:

Print, complete, and sign the following forms and send them along with a government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license) by email to: vol@eldercare.org or by mail to: Volunteer Program, SCES, 61 Medford Street Somerville, MA 02143-3429.

For More Information:
Call our Volunteer Program Coordinator at
617-628-2601, x3051 or send an e-mail to vol@eldercare.org.