LSS Seeks Senior Companion Volunteers to Impact Lives of Older Adults in the Community
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is seeking volunteers in North Dakota for its Senior Companion service, in partnership with AmeriCorps Seniors, a national service agency, to offer friendship and support to older adults in the community. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota a 156-year-old organization assumed operations of the Senior Companion service in North Dakota February 1, 2021, assuring that essential support through this service continued for older adults.
Senior Companion volunteers are age 55 and older and visit older adults weekly, providing friendship, offering encouragement, sharing their time and talents, assisting with errands, grocery shopping and transportation to appointments to support older adults in remaining healthy and independent.
“I needed something that would get me out of the house and would be flexible for me and the older adults I am supporting,” shared Norma Fuhrman, a Senior Companion volunteer. “The older adults I assist are so happy when I schedule a visit; they look forward to seeing me.”
And, the rewards go both ways, enriching the lives of Senior Companions as well. Volunteers also report being healthier and happier as a result of their service.
“I am amazed at how my life has changed from volunteering — all for the good,” Fuhrman said. “I have met lifelong friends who I will never forget.”
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, now serving North Dakota, offers a wide variety of services to older adults in Minnesota, including the Senior Companion Program — a service they have operated statewide for over 40 years. Currently, 60 volunteers in 33 counties provide weekly support and friendship to 370 older adults in North Dakota.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the service was provided over the phone and virtually via video chat over the past year. Recently, limited in-person volunteering has resumed. However, there is still the opportunity to volunteer over the phone or virtually. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is providing loaner phones and tablets at no cost to the volunteer and technology training is provided as well as ongoing support.
The Senior Companion service is currently seeking volunteers who are age 55 years or older and can commit to at least 10 hours per week. Volunteers receive an hourly stipend, a chance to stay connected and a meaningful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of older adults. No prior volunteer experience is needed, and training is provided.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota conducts background checks to ensure safety. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota welcomes volunteers from various cultures, backgrounds, traditions and stages in life to inquire. If you are interested in becoming a Senior Companion, call 701.389.2293, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit lssmn.org/volunteernow.