The Senior Companion Program Celebrates 3 Years!

2020 03-12 Pre-service orientation (1)

(l to r): Mary Lovato-Peters, Jeanette Spinks, Ray Maestas, and Svetlana Tsygankov.

Senior Companion Introduced a New Pilot Program for Virtual Services in 2020 Due to the Impact of COVID-19.

The Senior Companion Program is now entering its third year! Despite COVID-19 and the temporary closure of usual companionship activities (transporting clients to doctor appointments, going grocery shopping, taking a walk around the neighborhood), we have 30 Senior Companions willing to resume their service as soon as it is safe to do so. Right before closing the program in mid-March, we had just on-boarded 4 new volunteers. Once re-opened, we will immediately assign these Companions to Volunteer Stations and to clients.

In this third year, we will continue our active recruitment of more Senior Companions and more Volunteer Stations throughout our 5-county service area: Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. If you would like more information on this vitally important program, please click here.

Because of the mid-March closure due to the presence and threat of COVID-19, The Senior Companion Program needed to follow the state’s stay at home orders. This left 30 Senior Companions restricted from visiting their many clients. To enhance telephone reassurance calls that many of the Senior Companions were doing with their clients, Spark launched a pilot iPAD project. We have been able to provide 15 Senior Companions with 30 iPADs and 30 internet hotspots – 1 iPAD/Hotspot for them and 1 iPAD/Hotspot for one of their clients. Our goal is to see if the pilot project enhances the connection between Senior Companions and their clients during stay at home/safer at home orders. We were able to purchase refurbished iPADs from PCs for People and low-cost internet connections from Mobile Beacon.

When Kyle Clark from 9News contacted PCs for People for a nonprofit spotlight, Anthony Frank, our contact person at PCs for People, decided to launch a program aimed at getting technology into the hands of low-income older adults. We were surprised that after PCs for People was featured on 9News’ Word of Thanks, $17,000 were raised by the audience! Spark will be working with PCs for People on how best to get technology and internet connection to our isolated, low-income older adults. Thank you PCs for People, Kyle Clark, and 9News viewers!

 

Click Here for the full 9News Story.

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