Gov. Snyder proclaims Senior Companion Volunteer Day

Submitted to the Pioneer 

GREENVILLE — Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed Nov. 14, 2018, as Senior Companion Volunteer Day in recognition of senior companion volunteers, like those who serve in Mecosta County, for their commitment to helping their communities.

The senior companion program provides opportunities for seniors to help other seniors through volunteering. Senior companions are limited-income, adult volunteers, ages 55 and older, who provide meaningful visits to vulnerable seniors in various settings.

During the last year, nine senior companion volunteers in Mecosta County aided 45 older adults to help them continue to live independently.

They provide companionship services such as reading, talking, playing cards or providing transportation to medical appointments or other errands as needed. These senior companion volunteers have provided more than 9,000 hours of volunteer service to the community this year.

In addition to helping others, senior companion volunteers also improve their own lives by living active, healthy lifestyles through volunteering.

A growing body of research points to mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression and fewer physical limitations.

“The Senior Companion Program provides benefits for individuals on both sides of the coin,” said Dan Petersen, president of EightCAP, Inc., the local Community Action Agency. “Our volunteer seniors find renewed meaning when they see the positive impact their efforts have on the lives of others. It’s a unique, invaluable program. I’m grateful to Gov. Snyder for recognizing the efforts and contributions of these volunteers.”

Locally, EightCAP, Inc. administers the Senior Companion Program which serves Mecosta, Montcalm and Ionia counties.

The EightCAP, Inc. Senior Companion Program is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Michigan Aging and Adult Services Agency and through local contributions.

For more information regarding the volunteer programs operated by EightCAP, Inc., including learning how you can become a volunteer or be a placement site for a volunteer, call Lori Johnson, Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion Program manager at (616) 754-9315 x3347 or visit 8cap.org.

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