As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states in Blessings of Age, we envision a vibrant, intergenerational community where people of all ages and abilities can share their gifts, with the most vulnerable being of particular concern.
Our goal is to provide support to leaders in establishing, training, supervising and maintaining senior outreach volunteers, with the foundation of the ministry involving friendly visitors to seniors in private homes. Friendly visitors build strong connections between isolated older adults and their communities, by facilitating relationships amongst community members, being advocates for older adults, providing companionship and conversation, and by being an ongoing, supportive presence in older adults’ lives.
The resource center has developed volunteer training and supervision structures for parishes to use as they implement their senior care ministries, particularly friendly visitors. A volunteer training curriculum, older adult needs assessments and volunteer interest surveys are available through the center.
In addition to friendly visitors, senior care ministry may involve volunteer assistance in home upkeep, errands and light housework, as well as fellowship and aging related educational opportunities; depending on the needs of seniors in a particular parish. Working with a parish based volunteer coordinator, the Senior Services Resource Center will provide support and guidance to parishes as they develop a variety of ministries that reflect the needs and culture of their communities.