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For a frail elderly person, a Senior Companion may be the difference between self-reliance and mere survival. With the help of volunteer companions, who are themselves senior citizens, older people with physical and emotional needs receive extra care so they can remain independent in their own homes and stay out of nursing homes.

Services are provided at no charge.


Who is eligible for companion services

Selected community organizations, such as the Alzheimer's Association (Dallas Chapter), Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital, refer clients to the Senior Companion Program. Our staff, in cooperation with these organizations, is responsible for the training, placement and supervision of the Senior Companions. Contact the Director of the Senior Companion Program for information on making referrals to this program. Self referrals are not accepted.

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How Senior Companions help

Senior Companions serve 20 - 40 hours a week in the home of one or two frail elderly clients. They provide assistance in a number of areas including:

  • Socialization - Providing companionship; talking and listening; offering peer counseling.
  • Escort services - Accompanying clients to medical appointments or to recreational and social events.
  • Support care - Assisting with respite care; exploring community services; communicating client needs to program staff.
  • Personal care - Assisting with grooming, eating and exercising.
  • Home management - Helping with light housekeeping and meal preparation.

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A statement from one of our clients

Ms. Gaytan learned about The Senior Source in 1993 when she became a Senior Companion. Getting out of her home and caring for others helped her overcome her depression after the death of her oldest son.  Ms. Gaytan, who is bilingual, was initially paired with a frail woman who spoke only Spanish, and she still remembers that the older woman used to tell her stories from the old days in Mexico.

In 2000, Ms. Gaytan’s life took a drastic turn.  Following complications from a ruptured gall bladder and heart attack, Ms. Gaytan’s doctor told her that without 24-hour care she would have to move into a nursing home.   Because of her earlier willingness to be a Senior Companion and care for others, Ms. Gaytan knew exactly where to turn when she became sick and needed the services of a Senior Companion.

Ms. Brashear, a Senior Companion from The Senior Source, volunteers 20 hours each week and was placed with Ms. Gaytan right away.   Ms. Brashear prepares her breakfast and lunch and takes her to doctors’ appointments.  They enjoy talking about current events and walk around the house together to increase her stamina. 

Ms. Gaytan says, “I did not want to move into a nursing home… I don’t know what I would do without her.  I am so very thankful that I am receiving the same treatment that I gave when I was a Companion.”

Ms. Gaytan now lives with her son and daughter-in-law, who both work. For this family the Senior Companion Program provides peace of mind, care in the home and allows Ms. Gaytan’s adult children to continue working. And most importantly, it allows Ms. Gaytan to remain at home and out of an institution.

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Who can become a Senior Companion 

The Senior Companion Program is open to individuals 55+ years. Senior Companions with low incomes ($1,805 a month for a one person household; $2,438 for a two person household; for other household sizes contact the Senior Companion Director) receive a stipend of $2.65 an hour. The stipend is not regarded as income and does not affect other benefits or assistance the senior companions may receive. All volunteers serve 20 - 40 hours a week.

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Become a Senior Companion 

Please contact the Senior Companion Program Director at 214.823.5700 or email.

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Stipend and other benefits for Senior Companions

Senior Companions with low incomes ($1,805 a month for a one person household; $2,428 for a two person household; for other household sizes contact the Program Director) receive a stipend of $2.65 an hour. The stipend is not regarded as income and does not affect other benefits or assistance the companions may receive. All Senior Companions receive assistance with meals, an annual medical evaluation, transportation allowances, accident insurance and recognition.

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Training that we provide 

Senior Companions receive 40 hours of training prior to placement, five additional hours of in-service training monthly and supportive, ongoing training from our staff.

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Number of people served in 2011

In 2011, 108 low-income senior companions provided 15 to 40 hours a week of assistance to 159 frail elderly allowing them to remain in their own homes. Companions accompanied clients to medical appointments and the grocery store, assisted with respite care, and prepared meals. By receiving the services of a senior companion, 90% of the clients indicated that their senior companion helped them keep their independence.

 


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For more information

Please contact the Senior Companion Director at 214.823.5700 or email.

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3910 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75219
(p) 214.823.5700 . (f) 214.826.2441
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