Our companionship for the elderly initiatives are comprised of two volunteer programs that are committed to close relationships built on one-on-one weekly visits to a resident who may otherwise be lonely or isolated.
Some of these touching relationships have lasted for more than a decade. Sharing one-on-one experiences with people in fragile circumstances breaks down the barriers between those who serve and those who are served, those who have and those who need. Such intimacy is the guiding principle of this work.
To ensure a successful match, the needs of both volunteer and elder are carefully considered before an introduction is made. Volunteers receive careful coaching, and dedicated ECS staff check in regularly with each individual in the partnership. The programs below are differentiated between visitors for people living in nursing homes and visitors for people living in their homes.
Dolphin Companions, formerly Dolphins of Delaware Valley, reaches out in friendship to individual elderly residents of nursing and retirement homes by trained volunteers who visit once a week on a one-on-one basis. Through companionship, volunteers alleviate loneliness and boredom in elderly men and women who are confined to a retirement facility or nursing home. Dolphins came into being through the efforts and support of a division of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and came under the auspices of ECS in November 2014.
Communicare provides individual friendship to men and women who are aging in place and living on their own. Communicare volunteers fill in for lost family and friends to provide friendship, shopping assistance, acting as an advocate with healthcare practitioners, record-keeping, help with correspondence, general problem-solving, and many other things. Communicare was developed through the efforts of the Community Outreach Partnership and Trinity Memorial Church, and came under the auspices of ECS in January 2016.