Community Volunteer Programs for SeniorsRetired seniors looking for a way to give back to their community often benefit from the rewards which come from volunteering.  Volunteering not only helps the community but also serves to provide volunteers with a sense of contribution and purpose.  In Michigan, those seniors who qualify and want to work with children and elderly individuals or otherwise serve their community have the opportunity to do so as Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions as well as through community volunteer advocacy.

What is a Foster Grandparent?

In Michigan, individuals who are at least 55 and at a certain income level can become “Foster Grandparents”.   Foster Grandparents serve children in need in a variety of ways such as being a mentor, providing emotional support to those who have been through abuse or neglect, tutoring children who need help with their educational goals, and being a source of stability and friendship when they are most needed.  Foster Grandparents have the opportunity to volunteer through thousands of local organizations all over the State.  After undergoing a 40-hour training program and submitting to background checks, Foster Grandparents are able to work with the children and ordinarily volunteer around 20 hours per week.

What is the Senior Companion Program?

For seniors seeking to volunteer with adults in need, there is the option of becoming a “Senior Companion”.  Senior Companions are adult volunteers who are 55 or older whose income is below a certain amount who and are able to work with adults in need.  These volunteers go through 40 hours of training and background checks.  Once approved, Senior Companions provide emotional support to and social contact with isolated adults.  These individuals may be fragile older adults or adults with psychiatric or developmental disabilities. The Senior Companions may spend their time visiting a variety of setting in the community such as mental health centers, community centers, or other facilities which serve these individuals.  By taking the time to visit these individuals, Senior Companions can provide meaningful connections between the community and the people they serve.

Community Volunteering

For those seniors who wish to volunteer but do qualify for or are not interested in the Foster Grandparent or Senior Companion programs, there are countless opportunities to serve the community.  Often area non-profits and religious organizations have programs which depend on community volunteers.  If you are considering becoming a community volunteer, look at community news sources and local non-profits to find out what is available in your area.

Community volunteering is an excellent way for seniors to help those in need and provide support to valuable organizations.  We are knowledgeable about senior volunteer opportunities and can direct you to the resources you need to find the best program for you.  Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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