Neighbor to Neighbor and Dementia Visiting
History and Goals
JABA’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program helps older adults remain independent longer by matching volunteers with seniors in their home for weekly visits and support. The goals of the program are to reduce social isolation, preserve dignity and value, help seniors age-in-place and to provide regular wellness checks for individuals who live alone.
In 2017, JABA piloted a Dementia Visiting Program with goals to provide opportunities for engagement for individuals with dementia and short-term respite for caregivers. Volunteers receive additional training about interacting with individuals with dementia.
In both programs, volunteers gain the opportunity to learn about life from a different perspective, connect with others and use their time in a meaningful way.
"I have found a new friend through the Friendly Visitor program. What started as a 'volunteering job' turned into real connection. The woman I spend time with has thanked me so many times for the friendship and help I've provided her. She really has given me as much as I have given her." – Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer
JABA engages volunteers age 21 and older who express genuine care and concern for older adults, are good listeners and have the ability to set good boundaries. Volunteers 18-21 may be considered to visit a home in pairs or on their own at a local senior residential community.
In the interview process, volunteers express their personal interests in order to make the best match. Training is provided prior to placement.
- Get to know your senior friend and what would be meaningful for them, and for you, in your weekly time together.
- Activities may include talking and reminiscing, looking at photos, playing games, or taking a walk. Individuals with mobility limitations or who are visually impaired may request support with small tasks such as changing a light bulb, taking trash to the curb, or reading.
- Volunteers are NOT able to help with housekeeping, personal care, financial requests, pet care or physical transfers.
- Establish a communication loop with your senior friend and/or their caregiver. Set up a regular visiting schedule.
- If you’re visiting someone who lives alone, be eyes and ears for JABA and their family. Notify JABA and/or their family contact if you notice decline in circumstances or health that makes you concerned.
- Provide monthly report to JABA Coordinator.
- A love for older adults and a willingness to form new friendships
- Compassionate and a good listener
- Good humored
- Appropriate manner and dress
- Ability to set good boundaries
- Ability to maintain confidential relationships
- Ability to provide own transportation
- Participate in training
- Criminal background check required
Request a Volunteer
Note from caregiver to volunteer: “Thank you so much for all your visits and phone calls. Dad really looked forward to your visits wherever they were – hospital, nursing home, assisted living, and the house. I appreciated your perspective on how he was feeling about different issues. This helped me decide how to best meet his needs.”
Are you or a loved one a senior who is isolated or homebound? Would you like to have a regular friendly visitor? If so, JABA’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor or Dementia Visiting Program may be right for you. Volunteers enjoy visiting once a week, providing socialization and support.
Together you may choose to:
- Talk and reminisce
- Play games or do crafts
- Go on walks or occasional outings
- Receive help with small tasks (such as bringing in mail, removing fall hazards or picking up groceries)
Please note that JABA Volunteers are not professional care providers and cannot give medications, do housekeeping chores, handle finances, help with transfers or offer advice (legal, medical, etc.)
A home visit is required to determine if the program is right for you and to gather more information to make the most appropriate volunteer match.