Do you know of a senior over the age of 65 who would like a visitor once in a while? Befrienders offers caring and compassionate volunteers that visit with a senior for at least an hour per week. Befrienders can spend time together playing games, taking walks, going shopping, or just talking. Volunteers and Seniors are matched based on mutual interests and hobbies so that they have something in common and can plan activities that are rewarding for everyone. Many of our “matches” have been together for years and consider one another family.
If you’d like more information please contact us at 522-8169 or fill out the Senior Application and mail to: Befrienders, 807 North Tracy, Bozeman, MT 59715.
Befriended Senior FAQ’s:
What sorts of things do Befrienders seniors and visitors do together?
This really depends on the match. Befrienders visitors and seniors are matched together based on common interests and availability, and the seniors who come to us are all different. Some live in assisted living facilities and have no family to speak of. Others live with their spouses, children or other family members, but need a friend, either because they spend so much time with their caregiver that they just need to get away (and their caregiver needs a break), or because their caregivers are always asking them to do things (grooming, physical therapy, etc.) and they just need someone to visit who doesn’t want anything from them. Some seniors just want someone to take them to the grocery store and to run other errands. Others want to go for short hikes, out to coffee or on adventures! Still others have mobility issues and just need someone who is willing to sit and visit with them. The expectations of every volunteer/senior match are different, but each match has the potential to change the lives of both the senior and the volunteer visitor for the better.
How does a senior qualify to receive a Befrienders visitor?
A senior must be age 65 or older, fill out a senior application and be interviewed before being matched. In many cases the application is filled out by the activities director of a long-term care facility or a family member who recognizes that their loved one may benefit from having an additional visitor.
Is there a waiting list for seniors in the program and how long is it?
The number of seniors waiting to be matched varies depending on the time of year. We have many more visitors when students are in school, both because of student volunteers from MSU and from mothers who are able to be volunteer visitors while their children are in school. In the summertime, there is a much larger need for dedicated volunteer visitors. Unfortunately, there are always at least two to three seniors waiting to be matched, and up to 12 at any given time. However, it must be remembered that seniors are matched based on their interests and needs so it is not a first-come, first-serve basis. Some seniors are matched up within a week of joining the program, others may wait many months for an appropriate match. Befrienders can always use more volunteers!
What is the process for becoming a Befrienders visitor?
All volunteers must successfully pass a criminal background check, reference check and be willing to commit to meet with their senior for a minimum of one year.
How often do volunteer visitors come?
Volunteers commit to meeting with the senior for at least one hour per week, though if they are available some may visit more often or for longer periods. If your visitor is a student, they’ll likely be gone over the December holidays.