OCWCOG is expanding its community services to house all three Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) Senior Corps programs. OCWCOG already administers the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP); moving forward, OCWCOG will now house the Senior Companion Program (SCP) as well.
A new three-year funding award was received July 1, 2018 allowing OCWCOG to launch SCP. This helps OCWCOG maximize operating efficiencies and continue meeting critical community needs while providing robust opportunities for our local Senior Corps volunteers.
“OCWCOG deserves huge congratulations for earning these resources that will allow more seniors in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties to live independent, healthy lives in their homes,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers. “Strengthening the connections between seniors and companions who can ensure older Oregonians can get around and receive good nutrition adds up to a winning equation of common sense and better communities.”
“Congratulations to OCWCOG for winning this substantial award for seniors in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. “OCWCOG has a long tradition of caring for our most vulnerable Oregonians. With this grant, seniors in these Counties will have access to the support they deserve—a positive impact on seniors’ lives, their families’ lives, and the Senior Companion Program volunteers’ lives. Again, congratulations.”
“As a trained gerontologist who brought the first ever Senior Corps Program to Lane County, I am proud to continue the fight for funding for this vital program,” said U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio. “I am grateful to OCWCOG for supporting Senior Companion volunteers in my district and across Oregon.”
Created in 1974, SCP provides a way for volunteers 55 and over to stay active by serving less-able seniors and other adults, helping them maintain independence in the client’s home. Among other activities, Senior Companions assist with daily living tasks, such as grocery shopping and bill paying; provide friendship and companionship; alert doctors and family members to potential problems; and provide respite to family caregivers. Senior Companions serve 15-to-40 hours per week across the Region.
The primary focus area of this project is Aging in Place. Twenty senior volunteers will offer respite, transportation, and companionship to an estimated 100 homebound seniors in OCWCOG’s Region. Volunteers will meet clients at least once a week for a minimum of 32 weeks of National Service activities. OCWCOG anticipates that an estimated 80% of those clients will report increased social ties to their community using the Corporation for National and Community Services’ Independent Living Survey.
The SCP Federal investment of $117,876 will be supplemented by $26,731 from local support to include local match and in-kind funding.
For more information, contact SCP at 541-924-8440 or visit www.ocwcog.org/seniors-disability/volunteers-advocacy/.