Maureen Schake, Senior Companion Project Manager, from Age Well in Burlington has provided all of us with the most up to date information on the federal Senior Companion program. This wonderful program is directed to people who benefit from connecting with another adult who helps relieve their isolation and often helps them avoid loneliness and depression. Good friendships develop which is something we all need and deserve. Recruitment for additional Senior Companions has been under way across the state. Finding the right, kind people has not been an issue. The greatest obstacle has been the requirement that the volunteers be under the income threshold.
Who is a Senior Companion? A Senior Companion is someone who:
- Is a volunteer over 55 years of age,
- Is able to serve 10 hours a week,
- Is income eligible, and
- Has a desire to serve homebound individuals.
What do Senior Companions receive?
- Ongoing training & support,
- Mileage reimbursement,
- Tax-free stipend, and
- Positive benefits of helping others.
Obviously, the recipients receive mental, physical, and emotional benefits from the connection with a regular visitor. Studies have proven that we all need human interaction. This works in both directions. Our volunteers care about and enjoy visiting with their people. Going on a walk, reading together, running errands, playing cards, gardening, and other mutually satisfying pastimes enrich the lives of both parties. Imagine having macular degeneration and sitting home for weeks and months all alone. You have the power to help fellow Vermonters end their sentence of social isolation. Call the Senior Solutions HelpLine at: 1-802-885-2669 and say you want to volunteer.
The following information explains some of the details of the program.
Senior Companion Benefits & Requirements
- Must be 55 or older
- Must work a minimum of 5-10 hours a week, not to exceed 2,080 hours per year
- Volunteers can work anywhere from 5-40 hours per week
- Income eligibility guidelines:
2023 AmeriCorps Seniors FGP/SCP Income Eligibility Levels
[Based on 200 percent of DHHS poverty guidelines]
Family Units Of: One ($29,160 ) | Two ($39,440 ) | Three ($49,720) | Four ($60,000)
States: All, except Alaska & Hawaii
- $4.00 hourly stipend. The stipend you receive is non-taxable and does not count against other benefits you receive such as 3SquaresVT or subsidized housing
- $.625 per mile mileage reimbursement
- Monthly in-service meetings
- Flexible schedule —You make your own hours!
To learn more call the Helpline at 1-802-885-2669.