A Sense of Purpose and a Connection to Community
Senior Companion Program
Sunbeam’s Senior Companions are a group of senior adults, 55+, who have a passion and compassion for serving other senior adults. More than 100 volunteers spend quality time each week with other senior adults, allowing the volunteer to give back to his or her community while developing a nurturing, supportive companionship with another senior adult who may be homebound due to illness or age.
A typical annual cost of nursing home care in Oklahoma is approximately $51,000. With the goal of helping seniors stay in their home for as long as possible, Senior Companions provide quality, in-home support, and companionship to individuals who could not afford nursing home care without government assistance. Some of this support may include light housekeeping, errands, doctor’s appointments, or simply playing games or talking with the senior.
Volunteers receive monthly trainings that focus on such practical subjects as home safety, dental services, and caregiver tips, as well as health-focused subjects such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Hospice care. These trainings help in their roles as companions but also in their own personal lives.
Mary Lou Brown, 81, has been a Senior Companion nearly 18 years. She said she became a Senior Companion because she didn’t want to waste her life in retirement. About four days a week she helps other senior adults who can’t get out of their homes due to age and health reasons.
“It’s my favorite Sunbeam program. I became a Senior Companion because I wanted to get out and help somebody,” she said. “I get up each morning ready to go help. And some of my clients have become like family to me.”
How Do I Become a Senior Companion?
- The Senior Companion Program is open to volunteers 55+ who can serve between 15 and 40 hours per week. Sunbeam provides training before the volunteer meets with his or her match, as well as monthly trainings.
- The program offers a tax-free, hourly stipend and mileage reimbursement to help cover costs to income-eligible individuals.
- Volunteers must be pass a health screening and background checks.
To become a Senior Companion volunteer or to learn more about how to request a Senior Companion for your loved one, call Colby Bryant at 405.609.8812. You may also print and complete the form below and mail to: Sunbeam Family Services, Attn: Senior Companion Program, 1100 NW 14th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.
How Do I Apply to Have a Senior Companion Stay with My Loved One?
Applications to receive a Senior Companion are readily available. If you are a senior citizen who is currently receiving services through Eldercare, Mary Hahoney Health Center, Third Age Life Center or Veterans Affairs Medical Center, applications can be made through those organizations. If you are not affiliated with any of those organizations, please call Program Assistant at 405.609.8923 for details of service availability.
Did You Know?
New Senior Companions receive
pre-service training and 4 hours of on-going training each month.
were served 2015-2016 fiscal year by Senior Companions.
served this year.
received services through the Senior Companion Program during 2015-2016 fiscal year.