The Meals on Wheels San Antonio Elder Friends Program is a volunteer-based program where the goal is to provide companionship and a meaningful friendship to a homebound citizen in Bexar County. Elder Friends are matched with a homebound senior based on personality/interests, location, and scheduling needs. Elder Friend volunteers usually serve about three hours per week with a homebound senior and do things such as play games, take a walk, run small errands or go out to eat. This position is great for individuals who have a heart for helping out others and who would love to spend some free time with a person who needs a friendly visitor. Too often, seniors who are no longer able to leave their homes can start to feel isolated and depressed, which may worsen existing health conditions. Elder Friends' volunteers help to alleviate concerns by visiting a homebound senior at least 3 hours per week to provide much needed companionship. Just a simple conversation can make all the difference to an elderly neighbor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to receive services?
Any senior adult who is in need of companionship services, who may be suffering from depression, or has experienced the loss of a loved one, may be eligible for service. Seniors requesting services from an Elder Friend volunteer must be self-sufficient.
How do I get involved?
Volunteers interested in becoming an Elder Friend must be able to relate to older adults in a positive and warm manner. In addition, volunteers must comply with the following:
- Are at least 18 years of age
- Must pass a criminal and sex offender background check
- Must complete a two hour training class
- Are asked to commit about three hours of service per week. Our elderly clients greatly appreciate volunteers who can be a little flexible to their needs for quality time
- Must be able to relate in a positive and warm manner to older adults)
Is this a paid volunteer opportunity?
No, this is not a paid volunteer opportunity.
What are the responsibilities of an Elder Friends volunteer?
Elder Friends are primarily matched with older adults based on personality and interest, so that a bond can easily be developed. Once paired, volunteers are expected to provide friendship and conversation. In some cases, Elder Friends offer minor assistance where appropriate (e.g. walks in the neighborhood, computer assistance, etc.).
Where are volunteers most needed?
Volunteers are most needed in the following zip codes: 78109, 78201, 78209, 78213, 78217, 78218, 78228, 78245, 78249, 78250, and 78254.
If you don't see your zip code here, contact us to find out what the volunteer need is in your area.
Who should I contact to sign-up as a volunteer or sign-up to receive services?
For more information about receiving services, please contact a member of our Client Services team at 210-735-5115.
To learn more about volunteering, please contact a member of our Community Engagement team at 210-735-5115.