How do I refer an elder?
To refer elders to our one-on-one programs – Friendly Visiting, Medical Escorts or Friendly Helping:
Generally, you can expect that elders will be contacted within a week after a FriendshipWorks staff member has spoken to the referring person/facility/organization. If you need additional information or want to talk about whether your referral may be a candidate for our programs, you can also contact a staff member (see staff contact page).
Who’s eligible for services from FriendshipWorks?
What programs are available?
Friendly Visiting: Friendly Visitors develop one-on-one relationships with older adults. They visit once a week and share in companion activities like having coffee or tea, sharing stories, going for walks, or listening to music.
Medical Escorts: A “door-through-door” service where volunteers accompany elders to medical appointments, providing personalized emotional and light physical support. We do not provide transportation, but accompany elders on public transport, The Ride, or other transportation the elder arranges.
Friendly Helpers: Volunteers provide short-term and one-time assistance to elders that have a specific need, but no one to help. Activities include: helping with organization, seasonal tasks, and accompaniment on errands. This is a limited service and does not include heavy chore, cleaning or home care assistance.
PetPals: This pet visitation program brings volunteers and their pets to visit elders living in long-term care facilities. Volunteers meet with elders in both groups and individually.
MusicWorks: This weekday music program brings the joy of music to groups of elders in their buildings, offering them the opportunity to listen, engage, and participate in group activities with musical instruments, singing, and/or dancing.
Relaxing Through the Arts: This nursing home outreach program connects residents with the natural world and with each other through art projects, haiku poetry, and conversation.
Our group programs — Petpals, MusicWorks, and Relaxing Through the Arts — identify group settings such as assisted living facilities, elder buildings or nursing homes with which to work. If you would like your building or facility to partner with one of our programs, please see the staff contact page. You can expect to hear from a FriendshipWorks staff member within 7 to 10 days after submitting a referral.
See our Programs page for more information about our programs.
What languages can FriendshipWorks serve?
We recruit volunteers who speak a multitude of languages based on the elder’s needs, with a special focus on Spanish-speakers. In addition, we have bilingual Spanish-English speaking staff.
Does FriendshipWorks provide transportation?
No. FriendshipWorks does not provide transportation for medical escorts. Volunteers will accompany elders to and from their visit, offering emotional and physical support. Volunteers, if requested, can also take notes during a doctor’s visit but will refer the elder back to a health care provider for questions or clarification.
Does FriendshipWorks screen its volunteers?
Yes. FriendshipWorks screens all volunteers before they are matched with an elder. Volunteers go through an interview, background check, and training program. Pets in our PetPals program are also screened by an animal behaviorist.