Volunteer caregiving marks 35 years helping frail, homebound seniors

Giving rides to seniors is just one of the functions of CAREGIVERS.

Volunteers Assisting the Elderly, one of 25 original pilot programs launched in 1984, now joins hundreds of volunteer caregiving organizations across the nation in celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Volunteer Caregiving starting in April with National Volunteer Month. (https://nvcnetwork.org/wp/index.php/program-map/)

“It’s comforting to know that there is an entire month dedicated to celebrating and recognizing volunteers,” said Jay Friedman, treasurer for the National Volunteer Caregiving Network. “I chose to give my time to help seniors through Volunteer Caregiving, which is a total contrast to my ‘day-job.’ That’s one of the reasons I enjoy being a volunteer.”

Every week, thousands of volunteer caregivers across the country are lending helping hands to seniors by picking up groceries, providing a ride to the doctor or helping change a light bulb–all at no cost. “Here in Ventura County, we have hundreds of volunteers serving our current enrollment of 500 seniors,” said CAREGIVERS Executive Director Tammy Glenn. “We’re so grateful to the donors who allow us to offer these services at no cost to one of our most vulnerable populations.”

In fact, 10,000 people are turning 65 every day for the next 12 years in the United States, making support for our aging Americans one of the most critical needs of our time. “Opportunities to volunteer with seniors are abundant, and among the most rewarding of all volunteer experiences,” said Inez Russell, president of the Board of Trustees for the National Volunteer Caregiving Network. “I can’t think of a better way to ‘pay it forward’! Plus, we’re all headed in that direction, so now is the time to fuel a culture of care and compassion.”

To that end, Ventura County’s own CAREGIVERS serves seniors over the age of 60 who need a helping hand to remain living independently as they age. The hallmark of Volunteer Caregiving is a one-on-one match, but there are lots of ways to give a couple hours per week and make a difference.

Volunteer Caregiving is a national movement that was launched 35 years ago in 1984 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Faith in Action program. Transportation to medical appointments is one of the most requested needs that helps seniors continue to live independently, with dignity through end-of-life.

For more information, call (805) 658-8530 or visit www.vccaregivers.org to volunteer, donate or refer a senior.

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