Senior Companion Program Activities

Appropriate Senior Companion Activities

Personal Care

  1. Remind client to take medication at appropriate time.                                  

  2. Remind client to do their physical therapy exercises, follow doctor orders, or nursing care plans.

  3. Accompany client to appointments.

  4. Provide reality orientation/awareness.

  5. Encourage exercise and/or take walks with client if appropriate.


  1. Remind client to eat and drink.
  2. Prepare food, plan meals, make grocery list, grocery shopping, labeling and organizing food.
  3. Accompany client to a nutrition site. 


  1. Provide companionship, talk, listen, play games or cards, assist client with their favorite hobbies and interests. 
  2. Provide empathetic and calming peer support.         
  3. Foster client contact with family and friends.                                   
  4. Accompany client to a recreational or social event.              

Home Management

  1. Light shopping, do errands.                                                   
  2. Assist with writing and reading letters or filling out forms.                          
  3. Light housekeeping.                                    


  1. Provide information about community resources and services as provided at in-service meetings.
  2. Assist the client in accessing services and resources when appropriate.                   
  3. Bring unmet needs to the attention of the Senior Companion Program manager, volunteer station, and the client’s caregiver/s and family.          

Respite Care

  1. Assist family caregivers with the care of their loved one so they can have respite.


  1. Provide transportation to the client so they can get to medical appointments, pick up groceries, and run other essential errands.
  2. Clients are eligible to receive up to 50 miles per month in transportation services from their Senior Companion volunteer at no cost. Pending availability of a volunteer that drives.
  3. Transportation services need to be approved by the Senior Companion Program manager prior to any traveling.

Inappropriate and Prohibited Senior Companion Activities

  1. Activities usually performed by doctors, nurses, or CNA’s such as feeding, giving medicine, dressing, bathing, taking client to the restroom, clipping finger and toe nails, shaving, moving/lifting/repositioning the client, etc.

  2. Major household cleaning such as vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing bathroom/appliances/floors, washing windows, etc.

  3. Moving or lifting heavy items such as furniture, filled garbage cans, full laundry baskets, etc.

  4. Outside work such as shoveling snow, mowing lawn, raking, gardening, etc.

  5. Pet care such as scooping and disposing of pet waste, taking pet outside without the client, feeding pets, cleaning/washing the pet, etc.

  6. Any activities that involve the companion being on a ladder.

  7. Custodial (janitorial) services normally provided by paid staff.

  8. Depositing cash in bank for the client.

  9. Major household repair.

  10. Extensive shopping.

  11. Preparing food for or cleaning up after persons other than the client.

  12. Supervision of other Senior Companions.

  13. Any service for which the volunteer station is receiving compensation from any source.

  14. Brief casual contact with a large number of clients.

  15. Group recreational or social activities.

  16. Going to a casino or a bar.

  17. Senior Companions cannot take any compensation from the client, their caregiver, family, or friends. Clients and their caregivers are not to:

    1. Offer payment, gifts, or gratuities in any amount to their companion.
    2. Make loans to their companion or request loans from their companion.
    3. Buy or sell property with their companion.
    4. Engage in any financial transactions or exchange of funds with their companion. The only exception is if the companion is picking up groceries or medicine for their client. This activity needs to be pre-approved by the Senior Companion Program manager and documented on the Letter of Agreement and/or Care Plan.
  18. Senior Companion may not have any key to the premises, nor may they have any knowledge of client’s safe combination or key. 

Contact Information

AmeriCorps Seniors Program

Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center
120 Jefferson Street
Waterloo, IA 50701
319-296-4271 (fax)
Email the AmeriCorps Seniors Program

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