Senior Companion Program: Enriching Lives - and Saving Them

Blog Categories: 
United We Serve

For Anita, the Senior Corps Senior Companions program was a life saver.

Ninety-year-old Guadalupe "Lupita" Trujillo has participated in the Senior Companions program through Christian Senior Services for several years. During her hours of service she saved the life of 86-year-old Anita Avalos.

On the morning of January 31, Lupita arrived at Anita’s senior home and found her in her wheelchair, eyes open but unable to speak or move. Lupita immediately went to the home’s main office and let them know about the problem.

Anita had experienced a stroke. Without Lupita’s daily visits, she would have been left in her condition, unattended and untreated. As a result of Lupita’s actions, Anita was rushed to a nearby hospital and was treated.

Anita is not the only one who has benefited from Senior Companions.

Senior Companions is designed to foster civic and community engagement for older volunteers, as well as independence and the opportunity to spend some time in the company of people their age. For active seniors, it is a great way to stay alive and healthy.

"I think it is important to be a part of Senior Companions, because the program offers many opportunities for us at a senior age to feel healthy and productive," says Lupita,"while also giving us some money to help, which allows us to pay for things we need.”

All across the country, Senior Companions are making a difference by providing assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks such as grocery shopping and bill paying. They typically spend from 15 to 40 hours a week helping two to four adult clients live independently in their own homes. Senior Companions also often provide relief to primary caregivers and alert doctors and family members to potential problems.

In 2010, more than 14,000 Senior Companion Program volunteers delivered 12.2 million hours of service in their communities and took care of the in-home needs of more than 66,000 older adults and others with physical or other limitations. Become a Senior Companion or learn more about the program by contacting a participating organization in your state.

Christina Markle is a former part-time AmeriCorps Bonner Leader and a current John Gardner fellow from UC Berkeley at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The original story appeared in La Prensa.

Find a Volunteer Opportunity

Help improve your community, find your next volunteer opportunity.


Back to Top