Just For You: Volunteer Companion Program

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The Just For You: Volunteer Companion Program/Tele-Care Program/In-Home Recreation Program is a one-on-one visiting program for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

Consider becoming a Just For You Volunteer Companion

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer companion, or are a family member and would like more information. contact the Alzheimer Society at 519-482-1482 (toll-free: 1-800-561-5012) or [email protected].

Interested volunteers can also fill out the online application form and return it to Erin Dale at [email protected].

What is Just For You?

Through Just For You, volunteer companions are matched with a person living with dementia.

  • Volunteers visit the person weekly or bi-weekly, during their preferred time either over the telephone, virtually or in-person following public health guidelines.
  • These visits provide socialization and meaningful activity to the individual.
  • They also give the family caregiver opportunity for respite and assist them in keeping the person they care for at home longer.

The benefits of Just For You

There are benefits for everyone involved in this program.

For the person living with dementia

  • Reduces isolation,
  • Provides meaningful activity and social interaction,
  • Assists in maintaining current skills,
  • Fosters a sense of pride and respect in themselves and
  • Provides a new friend to share interests, time and companionship.

For the family caregiver

  • Assists in keeping the family member at home longer,
  • Provides a needed break from caregiving responsibilities and
  • Provides peace of mind knowing their family member is being cared for and is having an enjoyable time.

For the volunteer

  • Provides a new friendship the improves the quality of life for the person living with dementia,
  • Develops a sense of achievement, a feeling of giving back, and belonging and
  • Provides an opportunity for personal growth, skill development, social interaction and community relationships.

 

How the Alzheimer Society can help

The Alzheimer Society of Huron County will assist caregivers, clients, and volunteers throughout all aspects of the program.

  • We are available at any time for questions or assistance and will maintain contact with the volunteer and family to ensure the visits are beneficial.
  • We will develop a visiting schedule that doesn't interfere with other responsibilities and will work with the family and volunteer to develop an activity plan.
  • We also offer a free, comprehensive training program for the volunteers. This is designed to teach companions more about dementia, communication strategies, and visiting tips so they feel prepared for their role as a volunteer companion.

About Together Apart: A Guide to Visiting from a Distance

Staff from the Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, Haliburton, the Alzheimer Society of Oxford and the Alzheimer Society of Ontario have written and produced this Guide in response to COVID-19 to help reduce the social isolation people living with dementia are facing, which you can download below. 

Please note: Internet Explorer may not download Together Apart: A Guide to Visting from a Distance properly. We recommend using an alternative browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

The reality is that people living with dementia faced social isolation regularly before COVID-19 but with physical distancing a requirement, the isolation has intensified. Fully knowing the value of our volunteer visitors in the lives of our clients living with dementia and their care partners and the connection between the volunteer and the person living with dementia, we wanted to respond by equipping our volunteers to change their in-person visits to virtual visits. 

Although our initial goal was to equip our volunteers with a resource that would help them in their virtual visits, we realized that family members could also use the Guide to help them in connecting and spending time with their family member living with dementia. 

We hope this resource will be very helpful to you as a volunteer, family or friend visitor and that it will bring joy to your life and the person who is living with dementia.

Activity ideas

What can be done as an activity? Remember – Volunteer Companions and people living with dementia can do what ordinary friends like to do!

Here are some activity ideas:

  • Reminisce
  • Take part in a favourite hobby
  • Play a game
  • Listen to music or sing together
  • Create a craft
  • Take a walk together