YUMA, Ariz., June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Civic Service Institute at Northern Arizona University, which connects volunteers to service opportunities throughout the state, is launching a Senior Companion Program (SCP) in the Yuma area to pair volunteers aged 55 and over with seniors who could benefit from their friendship, company and help.
Volunteers in the program perform tasks that allow homebound seniors to maintain their independent living. This can include running errands, driving clients to medical appointments or other outings, and providing a vital connection to the outside world.
Nearly 90 percent of the clients in SCP say their Senior Companion volunteers help them stay in their own homes and that they are more satisfied with their lives as a result of these interactions. Volunteers also are often helping the client's primary caregiver by giving them a respite from their duties.
But clients and caregivers are not the only ones who benefit from the program.
A study released earlier this year showed that after two years of service, first-time Senior Companions reported improvements in health, decreased depression and less social isolation, noting the program led to personal growth, new friends, and a sense of accomplishment from performing meaningful community service.
Those interested in volunteering with SCP need to be at least 55 years old, meet income guidelines as established by the federal government, and be able to dedicate at least 10 hours a week to the program. Volunteers receive extensive training from both the Civic Service Institute and the Western Arizona Council of Governments, which matches volunteers with clients.
In addition to the satisfaction of helping others, volunteers receive a tax-free stipend of $2.65 per hour, reimbursement for mileage, and supplemental insurance coverage while volunteering.
NAU's Civic Service Institute also runs the Senior Corps Foster Grandparent Program in Yuma, another volunteer opportunity in the region. To learn more about volunteering with Senior Corps, please call (866) 856-3017 or (928) 276-2891.
SOURCE Civic Service Institute at Northern Arizona University