Senior Companion Program
Senior Companions are volunteers, age 55 and over, who provide assistance and friendship to seniors and others who have difficulty with daily tasks. Companions help them live independently, sparing them from moving to expensive institutional care until absolutely necessary
Senior Companions offer their clients contact with the outside world and make their lives less lonely. Senior Companions usually serve one to five clients during 15 to 40 hours of weekly service. Many serve the same client several years to form some of the most meaningful friendships of their lives.
Senior Companions are well trained and responsive to the needs of their clients. They receive a 40 hour orientation before they begin working and four hours monthly in-service training in areas such as Alzheimer's, strokes, diabetes and mental health.
They provide respite to relieve primary caregivers for short periods of time.
They are often a critical part of a client's "Care Team". Senior Companions alert family members to potential problems, allowing them to provide appropriate care to the client.
Senior Companions receive a small tax-free stipend to cover the cost of volunteering. They also receive reimbursement for transportation and an annual examination.
An income of 200% or below federal poverty guidelines is an eligibility requirement for Senior Companions, however there are no income restrictions for clients.
Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc. (SMTCCAC) has provided the Senior Companion Program (SCP) to residents of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Counties for over 33 years. It is currently funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service to allow 66 volunteers to serve their communities.