According to the Corporation for National Community Services volunteers over the age of 60 report lower incidence of disability and higher levels of well-being compared to those who do not volunteer. There are tremendous benefits to volunteering:
- reduces social isolation
- increases social connections
- increases overall sense of well being
- lower rates of depression
- reduces your risk of dying
Retired Senior Volunteer Program-RSVP is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people 55 and over. You can use the skills and talents you’ve learned over the years, or develop new ones while serving in a variety of volunteer activities within your community. Please check with your local Senior Center for volunteer opportunities near you!
United Way of Rhode Island maintains a list of volunteer opportunities at various organizations statewide. You can browse their website to find an opportunity that matches your skills and desire.
Many of the Advocacy Agencies are in need of volunteers. Contact them directly.
These programs provide volunteers to homebound Elderly Rhode Islanders:
The Diocese of Providence hosts the Carebreaks Respite Program, Neighborhood Friendly Visitor Program and the Visiting Veterans Corp
The Division of Elderly Affairs offers the Senior Companion Program serves homebound, frail elders in the community where they reside at no cost to the client. Before becoming a volunteer, you must pass a BCI, a national sex offender check, and fingerprinting and FBI background check. The program pays for the background checks. Twenty hours of training is also provided. Volunteers may be eligible to receive a tax exempt stipend and mileage reimbursement.
The Jewish Family Services of Rhode Island Partners in Care Program volunteers do not provide any personal care or medical services or do any heavy lifting. They must attend 20 hours of pre-service training, 70 additional hours of training at JFS, pass background checks and have a valid driver’s license and transportation. Partners in Care especially, but not exclusively, seeks volunteers who are veterans or have relatives who are veterans. JFS will match volunteers to the families with common interests.