The Friendly Visitor Program, a service provided by the Town of Warwick in partnership with Jewish Family Service and the O.C. Office of the Aging, matches trained volunteers with people who request help. Volunteers are screened and attend four hours of training to understand the parameters of the program. Volunteers offer their time either on a regular basis or on an occasional basis, depending on their own interest and availability.
Recently Warwick resident Marcia, who lives in her own apartment in one of Warwick’s senior housing developments and values her independence, gave up her car because driving had become more of a challenge than she wanted. She had seen a flyer for the Warwick Friendly Visitor Program on a bulletin board in her lobby and decided to check it out.
Marcia placed a call to the Warwick Town Hall and chose Option #1 to connect with the volunteer service. She left a message indicating she needed assistance in the form of a ride to get her weekly food shopping done. A return phone call led to the assignment of Deanne, a volunteer who likes the idea of giving of her time to people in her home town. Deanne is a retired teacher who learned about volunteering from her own mother when she was growing up. She seeks activities that are meaningful and found the Friendly Visitor Program to be important to people.
Marcia can now rely on always having her refrigerator stocked with the foods she likes. She has a routine Friendly Visitor who drives her to the supermarket and helps her reach items on shelves and carries her groceries into her home. Marcia also gets a ride from another volunteer for her occasional medical appointments.
The Town of Warwick boasts of its 8,000 senior citizens – an impressive 25% of the total population. The Friendly Visitor Program can be a solution for many seniors and other adults who need some help in maintaining their independence in their homes. If it’s not food shopping, perhaps it is help getting to a medical appointment. Volunteers can make a regular phone call to chat, visit for a game of cards, or help with sorting through some paperwork that is a bit overwhelming. A ride to our lovely Warwick Library to select a book or take advantage of one of the many programs can be a volunteer service as well.
Training Session Set for November
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Friendly Visitor Program can attend the next training session on Mon., Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Albert Wisner Public Library, located at 1 McFarland Dr. in Warwick. To become a volunteer, call 986-1124 and select option #1 and leave a message.