Senior Community Outreach Services, Inc.

Job Description


JOB SUMMARY:

To provide regularly scheduled supportive services to frail elderly or disabled adults who need assistance with instrumental activities of daily living in order to maintain their highest degree of independent living.

RESPONSIBLE TO:
As a Senior Companion Volunteer you are responsible to report to the Senior Companion Program Coordinator who matches you with the client. You are also responsible and report to the Station Representative who develops the client’s care plan, which outlines the activities and services to be provided by you.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
The following are the essential job functions for this position. The client service plan activities are provided in the client’s home and community. There are job functions for Senior Companion services in adult day centers and hospices.

CLIENT SERVICE PLAN ACTIVITIES:
The primary role of the Senior Companion is that of companionship. There are certain tasks that are considered appropriate for a Senior Companion to do for their clients. A list of specific tasks will be written on the service plan based on the needs of the individual client. Appropriate tasks are as follows:

Social and Recreation:
1. Companionship, talking and listening, life review and reminiscing.
2. Encourage client to maintain relationships and communication with family, friends,
and other community interests.
3. Accompany to social or recreation events.
4. Assist in reality orientation and awareness.
5. Play games or cards, assist with hobbies, share handwork and crafts or other activities
of special interest to the client.
6. Write letters, read, assist with phone calls.

Personal Care:
1. Encourage and assist with grooming, hair care, shaving, make-up.
2. Assist with choosing clean clothing and with dressing.
3. Be present while client bathes. (Station staff will evaluate client’s ability to bathe
independently. Companion will not bathe the client.)
4. Be present and encourage self-administered exercises.
5. Be present to encourage and observe walking or getting to the bathroom.
6. Remind of time to take medication. (Client must make own decision to take
medication. Companion will not give medications or fill pill boxes.)
7. Observe client’s handling of medication. Report immediately to station staff the
client’s inability to self-administer medications.
8. Accompany to doctor or nurse for treatment.

Nutrition:
1. Assist in meal planning and preparation.
2. Share a meal (When shared in client’s home Companion will bring his/her own lunch.)
3. Encourage client to eat a regular, well-balanced diet with adequate fluids.
4. Review and observe adherence to special diets with client; report irregularities or
observations to station staff or family.
5. Assist with grocery shopping.
6. Assist in organizing food supplies and planning use of leftovers.

Home Management:
1. Assist with light housekeeping (Make bed, do dishes, dust, sweep, take out trash.
Laundry may be done when determined as appropriate by station staff.)
2. Accompany and assist with errands and shopping.
3. Assist with money management, bill paying, filling out forms.
4. Read mail and newspapers.
5. Assist with non-strenuous home repair (change a light bulb, replace a nail)
6. Mend clothing.
7. Assist with light gardening.

Respite Care:
Assisting homebound clients served by caregivers who are in need of respite care to
prevent a breakdown in household capability.

Information & Client Advocacy:
1. Provide information about community services and eligibility for services.
2. Helping clients receive a needed service (food stamps, visiting nurse, Supplemental
Security Income, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.)
3. Bringing unmet needs to the attention of community leaders, volunteer station staff,
and other care providers.
4. Assure client has phone numbers to obtain emergency help.

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:
To qualify as a Senior Companion a person must:
1. Be 55 years of age or older.
2. Have a total annual income from all sources at or below the income eligibility levels 200%
established by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Deductions for health
insurance and medical costs are allowable up to 50% of the income guideline.
a. Senior Companions already in the program may have an annual income that exceeds
the guideline by 20 percent.
b. The Senior Companion Office is responsible for reviewing the income of each Senior
Companion once a year to determine continued eligibility.
3. Have a physician determine that they are physically and mentally able to serve the required
amount of hours (15 to 40 hours per week) and have an annual health exam.
4. Be willing and capable of providing assistance to frail elderly or adults with
exceptional needs on a personal and regular basis. Be able to relate well to others, be able to
relate to individuals from a different ethnic background.
5. Accept supervision as required and be willing to participate in a service plan for clients served.
Maintain volunteer boundaries in acceptance of appropriate tasks, client contact frequency and
personal concerns.
6. Complete 40 hours of pre-service orientation and attend 4 hours of monthly training and
complete reading assignments in order to provide program information to their clients.
7. If a driving volunteer and willing to transport clients, have a valid Texas driver’s license and
maintain vehicle insurance according to state law.
8. Consent to a criminal background inquiry after a conditional volunteer position offer.
Background inquiry documentation will be submitted to the appropriate agencies mandated by
federal/state law and/or required by the Senior Companion Program to commence the
background investigation. The Senior Companion Program retains the right to determine the
scope of the background inquiry. Any conviction may be considered as a possible justification
for the refusal or revocation of the volunteer position.

SUPPORT PROVIDED:
New Senior Companions will receive 40 hours of orientation before
being able to accept a client assignment. In addition, the program coordinator is available for
questions and concerns on an ongoing basis to answer questions and provide guidance for the
Senior Companions. The station representative is also available on an ongoing basis to provide
problem solving and support for the Senior Companions in addressing problems or issues that
may develop with the assigned clients.

BENEFITS:
Senior Companion Volunteers receive a tax-free stipend of $2.65 for each hour of
direct service to a client. They are also eligible for meal allowance( if funds permit) and mileage reimbursement
for driving to and from the client’s home.