About the Program
ElderFriends is rooted in life’s simple pleasures, like close friends, laughter and good food in pleasant surroundings.
ElderFriends is a volunteer-based program that provides companionship, outreach, and advocacy services to isolated older adults throughout Seattle and King County.
By facilitating regular friendly visits, we strive to meet the emotional needs of isolated older adults, helping them to live a full life, in their own homes, for as long as possible.
- Relieve isolation and loneliness among older adults
- Ensure that elders receive needed social and emotional support
- Improve knowledge and access to community resources and services for seniors
“My wife died several years ago, but I feel less lonely since I met my ElderFriends volunteer. We like to spend time cooking, talking and going on walks. We also go to the movies or to the museum. I feel more hopeful and happier.”
~ Mohammed, ElderFriends Participant
- Friendly Visiting: Our core service is an on-going visitation program that matches trained volunteers with isolated elders for friendly visits 2-3 times monthly
- Quarterly Social Gatherings: Volunteer and elder participants enjoy picnics, potlucks, ice cream socials, and holiday parties
- Thanksgiving Meal Delivery: ElderFriends volunteers deliver hot full course Thanksgiving dinners and other goodies to isolated elders who would otherwise be alone
We seek to create mutually rewarding friendships between elder and volunteer participants.
Do you know someone over the age of 65 who needs companionship and would like to have a friendly visitor? Social service providers, family members, and neighbors are all welcome to refer someone for our services. You can also refer yourself!
Criteria for participating elder:
We are looking for King County residents ages 65 and older who:
- report feeling lonely/isolated and lack regular visitors
- have an interest in visiting one-on-one and sharing life experiences
- live independently or are otherwise lonely in current living situation
- are not bed-ridden or battling terminal illness
- are not diagnosed with moderate or advanced Alzheimer’s or other dementia
ElderFriends’ wait list is full and is not accepting new referrals through summer 2016.
ElderFriends offers a unique opportunity to reach out to an isolated elder in your community through one-on-one visits. When you become a volunteer companion you give yourself and your elder friend an opportunity to establish a relationship that will enrich both your lives.
Friendly visiting volunteers make a commitment to visit with one elder friend a minimum of 2-3 times monthly for a year. Please see our volunteer description for details.
All volunteers must be 18 years of age, complete the application process, attend training and complete background and reference checks.