There are more than 300 people involved with volunteer programs at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SECS), helping out with nutrition, medical appointments and companionship, to name a few.
In honor of National Volunteer Month, SCES is highlighting some of our dedicated people who are doing important work in our community.
Peter Ferola has been an SCES volunteer with our Medical Escort program since 2001. We recently caught up with Ferola to say thanks, and to ask a few quick questions…
Q Why did you start volunteering?
A After I left full-time work, I worked part time. Then, back in 2000, I saw an ad in the Somerville Journal. Volunteering keeps me out of trouble! And I like getting out and meeting the clients. It brightens my day.
Q What do you do?
A After church, I’m home early and I wait to hear about escorting people to their medical appointments. Normally, it takes about 3-4 hours to escort someone. Some people want me to come in to the doctor’s office with them, some don’t. A lot of clients I’ve been escorting for 8, 10 years. They’re a lot of nice people – I really enjoy them.
Q What’s important as a Medical Escort?
A I try to make people feel relaxed, and at ease, and comfortable. I treat them the way I want to be treated. So I try to call them 48 hours in advance of their appointment, to tell them who I am, and when I’ll be there. And I show up on time! That’s important.
The Medical Escort Program matches frail older adults with a volunteer who will drive or accompany them to medical appointments. Volunteers can use their own cars or accompany elders in a taxi or other community transportation. For more information about Medical Escorts, or any of our other volunteer programs, call 617-628-2601, x3051 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.