Do you want to know more about being a volunteer participant in our ElderFriends Volunteer Companionship Program? Here are some commonly asked questions.

Who oversees the ElderFriends program?

ElderFriends is a service of Full Life Care, a not-for-profit health and social services organization based in Seattle. Full Life is dedicated to improving the quality of life for adults and their caregivers. We help adults of all ages with chronic illnesses and physical or developmental disabilities regardless of their income.

Who are the elders who participate in ElderFriends?

The elders who participate in ElderFriends are age 65 or older, live in King County, and report feeling lonely or isolated. Our elders are not bed-ridden, but may experience limited mobility and may use a walker or wheelchair.

What happens at the training session?

During the initial training, you’ll learn about the program, protocol, community resources, visiting skills, and health and aging information. The training session lasts about 2 ½ hours.

How do I know I’ll have a successful match?

We take into account the information you provide on your matching preferences form and the preferences of the elders to make the best possible match. Some of the most important factors are neighborhood, shared interests, gender and whether children are welcome on visits. We also consider hobbies, occupation, life experiences, pets, and other information provided.

Each match starts with a three-month trial period. While you are getting to know each other, ElderFriends staff check-in with you and the elder participant once a month to monitor the progress of your relationship and to provide support.

What if my elder and I don’t fit?

You don’t have to make a decision right away about committing to a friendship.

Your first few visits are on a trial basis, so you and your elder can get to know one another. We work hard to find the perfect elder match for you. However, if you don’t seem to “click,” that’s OK. We will work to find you another elder.

What happens after the initial trial period?

If you and your new elder friend are both interested in continuing your visits, the match is finalized and you will continue with your visits. We ask you to submit brief quarterly reports (available on our website) to keep us updated on the status of your friendship.

What are volunteers NOT allowed to do?

  • Volunteers will not lend or accept money.
  • Volunteers are not expected to perform any chores or errands.
  • Volunteers will not perform any health care duties.
  • Volunteers will not get involved with any financial or legal matters and cannot give legal or financial advice.

How do I get started?

Submit an application. We’ll contact you for a brief screening call, and provide you with information about upcoming training dates.