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

Loretta decided to volunteer for the Senior Companion program because she thought she could be the most help to people her own age.  “Sometimes people are so busy that many seniors don’t get one-on-one contact,” Loretta said.  “They’re isolated.  You may be around people, but you’re not involved with them.” Friendships are very important to seniors, and visits from companions brighten their days. “I try to be an upbeat person – I’ll bring music and things like that,” Loretta said.

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Client Story

Loretta decided to volunteer for the Senior Companion program because she thought she could be the most help to people her own age.  “Sometimes people are so busy that many seniors don’t get one-on-one contact,” Loretta said.  “They’re isolated.  You may be around people, but you’re not involved with them.” Friendships are very important to seniors, and visits from companions brighten their days. “I try to be an upbeat person – I’ll bring music and things like that,” Loretta said.

Volunteering has helped Loretta as much as it has helped those she visits.  It has made her more compassionate and understanding, and it has turned her into an advocate for causes that affect seniors in the community.  “There are different senior events I help out with, and I feel like I’m a part of the community,” Loretta said.  “It helps my confidence because I feel like I’m making a difference. You can meet new people and learn new skills, and it makes you feel like you’re a part of something.  When you’re working with other people sometimes challenges are welcome because you feel like you’re growing.  It’s fun! Volunteering helps people be healthier – both emotionally and physically.  We move more and we’re interacting with others. It gives people purpose. I’m not just sitting at home and wasting away on the front porch.  I sometimes hear people complain that they have nothing to do, but there’s a lot to do – people just don’t seek it out.”

And there are even more benefits to volunteering for seniors in the Senior Companion Program. Companions are paid an hourly stipend for their volunteer work.  Additionally, they attend monthly in-service meetings, where they learn about health and safety issues affecting seniors in the community. “I’ve learned to be more aware of health – they talk about that in our in-services,” Loretta said.  “We aren’t just helping others; we need to take care of ourselves. There’s a lot of things that come up in [Senior Companion in-service meetings] that we don’t know are out there, and we can help spread the knowledge to others.  It’s important that people are aware of what’s in the community that can help them.”

When asked if she would recommend CSS to others, Loretta didn’t hesitate.  “All the communications I’ve had with CSS staff have been positive,” she said.  “I had to give Mia a hug because she hit it on the nail [with matching me].  There’s just a positive, friendly atmosphere, and that positive environment is important!”

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

Locations

COLUMBUS

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

WEST COLUMBUS

Our Lady of Guadalupe Center
409 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