Volunteer Opportunities to Help Seniors in Our Community

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A Meals on Wheels volunteer with REAL Services. (Photo Provided)

REAL Services is dedicated to helping elderly and low-income people become and stay independent for life. If you or someone you love needs help, call REAL Services at 574-233-8205.

By: REAL ServicesHome Comfort Experts

COVID has caused a significant rift in volunteerism. Two years ago, volunteers were told to stay safe and stay home. And while we’re making progress returning to a new normal, unfortunately, volunteers remain at home.

Many restrictions have been lifted, and provisions are in place for those anxious to return to volunteering safely. Vaccinations, mask-wearing, and social distancing make returning to volunteering viable, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Our community runs on volunteers, and our seniors depend on them.

REAL Services offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. If you’re new to volunteering, REAL Services provides something for everyone. If volunteering is in your blood, check out the possibilities:

The Dementia Friends Indiana movement seeks to advance education and awareness of dementia, reduce the stigma associated with the disease, and create community environments that are welcoming and conducive for those living with dementia. To become a Dementia Friend, you can either attend an in-person workshop or watch a series of online videos.

Through its Adult Guardianship Services Program, REAL Services offers legal care and protection to seniors who cannot make their own financial and medical decisions and have no one to serve in this capacity on their behalf. To enhance the seniors’ quality of life, volunteers from the community serve as Guardian Volunteer Advocates (GVAs) for individuals. As a GVA, you will do more than just visit a client—you will serve as their personal advocate, monitoring their care and ensuring that they’re getting the treatment and support they need.

REAL Services’ Health and Nutrition Education program offers workshops for older adults to increase exercise and support healthy aging. As a volunteer, you and a co-leader will facilitate these workshops. Volunteer leaders must first become certified by attending two four-hour training sessions and co-lead one workshop as a trainee. Workshops take place once a week for eight weeks for a maximum of two hours each time. Volunteer leaders must be available at least twice per year to maintain their certification.

Meals on Wheels (MOW) presents a great volunteer opportunity for anyone with free time during the lunch hour. As a volunteer for MOW, you will provide healthy meals to homebound adults by delivering meals directly to their houses in the South Bend/Mishawaka area.

Office and Clerical Volunteers. A perfect opportunity for volunteers to socialize, learn new skills, or expand a resume. Your database, spreadsheet, filing, phones, mailings, and project experience can be put to good use.

Handyperson. Handyperson projects vary depending on the client’s needs and range from changing a light bulb to fixing a leaky faucet. After completing a volunteer orientation, Handyperson volunteers will be contacted when a prospective project is available. Interested volunteers will be asked to assess their ability to handle any given project and only be sent to jobs they feel comfortable doing. Clients are responsible for providing needed tools and supplies for every project.

Telephone Reassurance. The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) /InConnect, a part of REAL Services, can help with decisions big and small for older and disabled individuals in need of assistance. Once trained, your help answering calls is greatly appreciated.

Are you excited to get started? Visit Give Something REAL: Volunteer – REAL Services or email volunteer@realservices.org.

You can help REAL Services deliver meals to area residents in need by volunteering with Meals On Wheels. Fill out a volunteer application online to get started.

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