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Hawkeye Community College Looking for People to Join Senior Companion Program

posted on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 in  College News

WATERLOO–Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo is looking for people 55 and older to take part in their senior companion program. It's a volunteer program that gives older people with lower incomes the chance to stay physically and mentally active.

They are federally funded for 62 volunteers. Leaders say working with an aging population, things change daily, so the number of volunteers they have every week fluctuates, so they would like to add about ten more.

Seniors do a lot of things with their companions.

We caught up with volunteer Gloria and her clients Bill and Bobbi Lawrence last Friday, who just wanted to hang out and watch TV together.

Volunteers can also help with things like chores, cooking, and giving them rides. The program serves more than 140 clients throughout the year. Volunteers work more than 15 hour weeks.

"It gets them out of the home, it helps them build the relationship,” said Sonya Carlson, Senior Companion Program Director. “It helps them get a sense of purpose, while they're seeing somebody else who is isolated, physically may be incapable of doing the things they could do before, so both of those seniors are really feeling like they have a new sense of purpose.”

Phyllis Gaines volunteers with the program. She enjoys it.

“It's important because you can find seniors that maybe not have a family maybe not have people to come and visit them,” she said. “So to have a relationship with someone else helps them a lot."

People get paid, as well as mileage and meal reimbursements if needed. Hawkeye is holding an open house Friday for people who want to sign up. It goes from 1-3 at the Van G Miller Adult Learning Center in downtown Waterloo.

Click here to learn more about the program.

By Phil Reed, KCRG-TV9

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  1. KCRG
  2. Senior Companion
  3. Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center
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