Calling All Volunteers

The following is a list of organizations in the Aging Network. that have supported seniors in New York City.  They offer challenging and interesting volunteer work.


Retired & Senior Volunteer Program

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) trains and places older adults, aged 55 and over, in challenging volunteer assignments throughout the five boroughs.  It is the largest effort of its kind and serves as a model for similar programs that have been instituted in 700 communities around the United States and 36 countries abroad.

RSVP in New York City has more than 8,000 adults placed in more than 600 community-based organizations, including senior centers, hospitals, libraries and Head Start centers.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact RSVP at 212.614.RSVP.  Please also see www.cssny.org/volunteerism.html.

Nursing Home Ombudsman Program

The professionals and trained volunteers of the Ombudsman Program work to enhance the lives of residents in long-term care facilities.  They actively visit facilities throughout the city to talk with residents and help find approaches to situations they face.  Through the efforts of the volunteer Ombudsman, using a non-confrontational approach to problem solving, the rights of residents  related to health, safety and general welfare are monitored and protected.

Before being assigned to a facility, Ombudsman volunteers undergo 36 hours of intensive training, resulting in certification by the New York State Office for the Aging (SOFA).  Once training is completed, volunteers work no less than four hours a week with a nursing home or adult residence in their community, reporting to the Program staff.  Their role is to talk with residents, and to understand and try to resolve problems or potential problem situations.  Their reward is making a positive difference in the lives of others. 

This program is funded through the SOFA and the New York City Department for the Aging.  To learn more about it, please contact the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens at (212) 962-2720.  See also www.nyfsc.org/services/ombuds.html.

Alzheimer's Association

The New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has over 400 volunteers who participate in the work of the Chapter in a variety of ways.  Whether you can spare only a little time or make a more significant time commitment, the chapter hopes that you will join its very special community of volunteers.  There are many ways to help: the 24-hour Helpline; Safe Return Program; Special Events; Educational Meetings and Seminars; Translation Services; Speaker's Bureau; Chapter Administration; and Development.  For more information see the Chapter's website, www.alznyc.org or telephone (212) 983-0700 and ask for the Director, Volunteer Leadership and Development.

The Henry Street Settlement Senior Companion Program

Senior Companions are healthy older adults who help other older adults live independently.  They assist with grocery shopping and other daily tasks necessary to maintaining independence.  Senior Companions also provide support to family caregivers.

Senior Companions are at least 55 years old, in good health, have a limited income and can travel via mass transit.  Most importantly, they are people who love to be with other people.  Senior Companions offer older adults contact with the world outside of their homes and make their lives less lonely.  Services that are provided by Senior Companions include friendly visits; errands; light shopping and meal planning; reminders to take medication; escort to doctor's appointments. Senior Companions volunteer 15-20 hours per week.

Senior Companions receive pre-service and on-going training; a tax-free stipend of $2.65 per hour for their time and effort; transportation reimbursement; 24 paid sick days a year; 12 vacation days; 2 paid personal days per year and the great feeling that comes with helping others.  For further information see the website at http://www.henrystreet.org or telephone Program Director, (212) 477-0455.