Helping Seniors Stay Connected

Many seniors are lonely and at risk of being isolated, which can negatively impact their health and well-being. People who feel isolated have higher rates of depression, higher instances of chronic illness, and shorter life spans.

For decades, Catholic Social Services has helped lonely, homebound seniors stay connected by sending a weekly visitor to provide needed socialization and non-medical assistance so that clients remain independent in their homes. Both volunteers and clients treasure the life-giving effects of this time spent together!

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

― Lois Lowry, The Giver

What We Offer

Catholic Social Services provides two opportunities for volunteers to get involved:   

  • Through the Senior Companion Program, a low-income senior can volunteer to visit a few seniors for 20+ hours a week. Companion Volunteers enjoy the comradery of fellowship with other companions at monthly in-services and receive a stipend and expense reimbursement in some counties.
  • Through the Friendly Visiting Program, people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds are matched with a senior friend in Franklin and Delaware Counties.

IMPACT IN ACTION

95% of seniors reported that they feel less lonely since having a senior companion. 

Annual Report

Client Story

For Mary Kay, becoming a Friendly Visitor was about meeting new people and getting out of her comfort zone. “I wanted to have a meaningful relationship with somebody.  We all live in neighborhoods, in communities, and we’re insulated.  We go to the same stores, have the same friends, and have the same habits.  When you meet a stranger who is totally different from you, it’s a risk.  It allows you to be more than you think you can be. You’re sharing your heart.  It helps us to be better people.  It helps us to be courageous and to be who we are.”

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Client Story

The Friendly Visiting Program had its first Meet-and-Greet of the year on Valentine’s Day.  Mary Kay and Sylvia, who have been friends for about a year, attended together.  Sylvia learned about the program through her housing complex.  “I was the first to sign up for someone,” she said.

She was motivated to sign up because, “I was bored to tears.  I was going crazy.  I had no wheels, no way to get out.”  Lonely and a little isolated, Sylvia reached out to the Friendly Visiting Program.  She was paired with Mary Kay.

For Mary Kay, becoming a Friendly Visitor was about meeting new people and getting out of her comfort zone. “I wanted to have a meaningful relationship with somebody.  We all live in neighborhoods, in communities, and we’re insulated.  We go to the same stores, have the same friends, and have the same habits.  When you meet a stranger who is totally different from you, it’s a risk.  It allows you to be more than you think you can be. You’re sharing your heart.  It helps us to be better people.  It helps us to be courageous and to be who we are.”

When Mary Kay and Sylvia get together, they talk for hours.  “We respect one another,” Mary Kay said. The friends like to talk about faith, which is very important to both of them.  “When something good happens, she shares my joy,” Mary Kay said.  “Sylvia allows me to be me.  I don’t have to wear the mask that we so often do.  She allows me to be truthful, and that gives me peace.”

Mary Kay’s visits give Sylvia, “something to look forward to each week.  It helps make my life bearable.  I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for her.  I was looking for a companion, and she has really fit the bill.”

The Meet-and-Greet was a success, and the friends look forward to more in the future.  For Sylvia, the need for the program is both apparent and urgent. “It’s greatly needed.  Every person in our building could use someone.  Everybody there needs somebody.  I’m very grateful for it.”

Client Testimonials

“I get all help I need and don’t feel lonely.”

“I could not be happier with the service I receive.”

How to Access Services

For more information, call (614) 857-1260 or contact us through our website.

Volunteer

Bring life to the twilight years of a senior friend by being a companionship volunteer! Enjoy the new friendships you’ll develop.

Our Partners

developmental-disabilities

“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship” – Pope Francis

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Locations
COLUMBUS

197 E. Gay Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 221-5891

WEST COLUMBUS

Our Lady of Guadalupe Center
441 Industry Drive
Columbus, OH 43204
(614) 340-7061

NEWARK

1031 Brice Street
Newark, OH 43055
(740) 345-2565

PORTSMOUTH

St. Francis Catholic Outreach Center
2311 Stockham Lane
Portsmouth, OH 45662
(740) 353-3185

ZANESVILLE

422 Main Street, Ste 400
P.O. Box 3446
Zanesville, OH 43702-3446
(740) 452-5057

Contact Us