Friendly Visitor Teri Heck: “Their Stories are Novel-Worthy!”

| Senior Solutions News

A free, volunteer-based visiting program that provides companionship and support to lonely or isolated older adults.

Two years ago, after she retired and moved to Vermont full-time, Teri Heck wanted to get involved with people in her community. She has always enjoyed spending time with older folks, so she sought a volunteer opportunity that would enable her to support them. “If you like the company of others, what better way to find it than by being with others who like company,” she said. “Seniors have so much to share.”

Teri is a Friendly Visitor for two women, and talks on the phone regularly with a third. All of them are in their late 80’s but they couldn’t be more different. Teri thoroughly enjoys her friendship with each of them. “Their stories are novel worthy!” she said. “If they were writers, I would read their books.”

One of the ladies she visits used to be a very social person. “Now she is home a lot so I get her out of the house. We both enjoy going out and socializing.”

Teri helped another one of the women move to a new location. It was a better situation for her because she gets all her meals prepared for her and has access to more social opportunities and helping hands. The two friends now get together there.

The woman Teri talks with on the phone is a prolific reader. The two of them discuss the books they are reading, and swap stories about their life experiences, hobbies, and families.

“I get so much out of being a volunteer,” Teri noted. “On the days when I visit or speak with one of my friends, I feel joy. It’s no wonder statistics show that being a volunteer has a positive effect on people’s health.”

Teri also is a former member of Senior Solutions’ Board of Directors. She said being on the board was a phenomenal opportunity to learn about the agency. “I partnered with remarkable, kind-hearted individuals. It really made me feel like I was part of the whole organization.”

For more information on Senior Solutions’ Friendly Visitor Program, click here.  To learn about our volunteer opportunities, click here.