The Importance of Friendly Visits
Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they likely live alone, have lost family members and friends, and have chronic illnesses. Social isolation increases their risks for additional medical conditions.
The Northland Shepherd’s Center (NSC) ‘Care Call & Friendly Visitor Program’ provides needed social contact for clients who live alone and feel isolated. Through the program, the client has a regularly scheduled weekly visit and/or a call from a volunteer known as a ‘Friendly Visitor.’ It is an extremely important program in that clients have something to look forward to and are comforted by knowing that someone will be coming to see them or calling them.
It is hoped that the Friendly Visitor Volunteer will develop a genuine interest in their client and will commit to an ongoing relationship with the client.
Through NSC’s ‘Care Call & Friendly Visitor Program,’ NSC Friendly Visitor Nanci and NSC Client Norma have been together three years now. They get together two times a month and they talk frequently on the phone in between visits. They each admit to calling each other to make sure that they are okay!
Nanci remembers how their relationship started, “I first met Norma by taking her to the grocery store as a ride as an NSC Transportation Volunteer. We both centered our lives around a love of Jesus Christ. But there was more, we both had unfortunate love live and we have daughters with the same name. Norma even has a sister by the name of Nanci! These things led to us getting better and better acquainted. Later, when I found out that Norma was looking for a Friendly Visitor, I jumped at it!”
Now 89 years old, Norma says that she appreciates Nanci because Nanci seems to really care about her and about helping others. Norma says she was reluctant at first about the program as it takes awhile for others to earn her trust; but Nanci’s generosity in giving of her time and attention and her sincere kindness and helpfulness quickly won Norma over. Now, Norma enjoys and looks forward to their regular visits and conversations where they talk about what is going on and what they each have been doing.
Right now, NSC has about five active and meaningful ‘Care Call & Friendly Visitor’ relationships in place. However, there are more clients who would benefit immensely from having a Friendly Visitor and more volunteers are needed. If you or someone you know, would like to know more about this very valuable volunteer role, please contact Patty, NSC Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 8:03:00 AM