Home-Based Community Visits
In 2020, when the pandemic was closing care centers and trapping seniors in their homes, Heart2Heart saw a need to expand its outreach. From its inception, Heart2Heart had been focused on ministry to aging adults living in care centers. But many seniors in South Florida are living on their own in private homes or with family who act as their caregivers. Those seniors also need companionship and support from a community of volunteers. The Home-Based Community Visits program is a response to that need.
As of January 2022, Heart2Heart has been licensed with the state of Florida as a respite agency to provide Homemaker and Companion Services in Broward County. That means that Heart2Heart volunteers can assist aging or disabled adults in need of extra care, giving their family or close friends time for their own self-care.
Relief Companions will be matched with a senior based on the needs of the senior and the availability of the volunteer and taking into account the language and culture of the senior. While physical care and assistance is a focus of Relief Care, volunteers will serve the senior’s emotional health by connecting with them on a personal level.
Relief Companions are able to help the senior residents around the house with tasks like cleaning, preparing meals and laundry. They will be able to take the seniors to doctor’s appointments and errands and offer cosmetic help with hair, makeup and filing nails. Volunteers won’t be able to provide medical care, beyond stabilizing the senior if he or she has difficulty walking and reminding the senior to take their medication.
Relief Companions will receive specialized training, individual coaching and support as well as a stipend to offset the costs of volunteering.
Volunteers interested in Relief Care will be vetted through a state Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) level 2 background check. Current volunteers interested in becoming Relief Companions should call or email the office for more information.
Level of Commitment
Relief Companions will be asked to commit to at least one visit per week and spend two to five hours with the senior each week. The volunteer will be able to work directly with the senior’s family or caregivers to arrange the best times to visit.
Food for Hope
Seniors living on a fixed income don’t always have resources to respond to unexpected expenses or hardships. When the unforeseen happens, our Heart2Heart volunteers step up to the challenge and help by delivering groceries and food, sometimes paid with money out of the own pockets.
You can help! We accept donations of grocery store gift cards which can be given to seniors under financial stress or used to purchase groceries for them.
You also can donate directly to our 411 Initiative, which is designed to meet these one-time, case-by-case needs of seniors in our community.
We’re hoping to launch the full Food for Hope pilot program later this year. Check back here for more information!
Community C.A.R.E. Visits
It’s our desire at Heart2Heart to support seniors who are aging in place, in their own homes and surrounded by mementos from the life they have built for themselves. However, for some seniors, living at home means living far from family or loved ones. Residents who are retired may not have daily interactions or meaningful connections with people in the community.
Community volunteers are committed to visiting with seniors who are living independently. They primarily provide companionship and conversation. Often, just a listening ear and reliable presence is all a lonely person needs to feel connected.
Volunteers involved in this program have more freedom to tailor their time based on the needs of the senior. Home visits can turn into weekly shopping trip or visits around the community. Volunteers often assist residents with light house work or meals. As always, our model is to provide assistance based on how the person wants to be served.
Level of Commitment
Volunteers will be matched to a senior based on the needs of the senior and the availability of the volunteer. Community volunteers commit to weekly visits, though the frequency may vary depending on what the senior wants and needs.
Join the Team!
Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to seniors. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.
Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training is online, through an online portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training on the portal.
The first step is to create a volunteer account on our portal. To get started, click the button below.