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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Senior Pride and Achievement Through Senior Corps Volunteerism

- Monday, October 11, 2010

"Senior Corps" connects those 55 years of age and older with the people and organizations that need them most.  Helping our residents discover worthy causes (like Senior Corps) is just one of the many services provided at all Spring Arbor assisted living locations as well as our Alzheimer's Care Cottage locations.  Senior Corps seniors become mentors, coaches or companions to people in need, or contribute their job skills and expertise to community projects and organizations. Senior Corps started during John F. Kennedy's presidency, and currently links more than 500,000 Americans to service opportunities. Senior Corps has many great opportunities for people over 55 to get involved with their community.

Senior Companions connects volunteers with people with disabilities or that need help with day-to-day tasks. They also have a program called RSVP that matches the volunteer’s professional skills with an organization that could use them. For example, Senior Corps may ask a retired nurse to give immunizations at a local non-profit shelter or ask a retired builder to offer their services with a non-profit housing project.

Another great program that Senior Corps has is the Foster Grandparent Program. Volunteers work with young children in school that have difficult time learning. The volunteer links with a student based on their needs. It is a great program and usually has three volunteers talking about their experience in the Foster Godparent Program with one of the children they are teaching.

One man said that there is a 40% drop-out rate for middle school children in his area and this program is saving lives because it keeps kids in school. If children learn the basics of reading, it makes future schoolwork possible. The program interviewed a teacher who said that she is thrilled to have volunteers in the class because they offer her students one-on-one coaching that is sometimes not possible when there are 30 kids in class.

Senior Corps is a national organization, so check to see if there are any existing programs in your area!