Senior Corps taps the skills, talents and experience of more than 500,000 Americans age 55 and older to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs: The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and The Senior Companion Program (SCP). RSVP volunteers serve in many capacities, depending upon their interests. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
A large variety of organizations benefit from RSVP Volunteers, who provide a wide range of important services RSVP volunteers are individuals age 55 and over who serve from a few to over forty hours a week, providing hundreds of services in public and non-profit organizations that range from education centers to police departments to hospitals. RSVP involves seniors in service that matches their personal interests and makes use of their skills and life experiences to address priority needs across the nation. RSVP Volunteers provide services such as organizing local groups that focus on homeland security, tutoring youth, responding to natural disasters, serving as citizen patrols for local police departments, teaching parenting skills to teen parents, mentoring troubled youth, helping other seniors complete income tax forms, conducting groundwater protection surveys, providing in-home respite care with the frail elderly, teaching computer classes at elementary schools, testing buildings for radon, reading to hospitalized children, managing grief counseling groups, setting up neighborhood watch projects, bringing meals to the terminally ill, testing water for pollutants, and driving the blind to doctors appointments.
Foster Grandparent Program (FGP)
Community organizations such as schools, hospitals, Head Start and youth centers all benefit from the service of Foster Grandparents. The Foster Grandparent Program offers seniors age 60 and older opportunities to serve as mentors, tutors and loving caregivers for children and youth with special needs. Foster Grandparents offer emotional support to children who have been abused and neglected, mentor troubled teenagers and young mothers and care for premature infants and children with physical disabilities. Their personal attention helps these young people grow, gain confidence and become full and productive members of society. In the process, Foster Grandparents strengthen communities by providing youth services that community budgets cannot afford and by building bridges across generations. Foster Grandparents must meet income eligibility requirements, serve an average of 20 hours per week and may receive small stipends to offset the cost of volunteering.
Senior Companion Program (SCP)
Organizations and government agencies that work with the elderly can extend their service through the Senor Companion Program. In this program, people age 60 and older provide assistance and friendship to frail individuals who are homebound and, generally, living alone. By taking care of simple chores, providing transportation to medical appointments and offering contact to the outside world, Senior Companions often provide the essential services that enable frail older Americans to continue to live in their own homes. They also provide respite care to relieve live-in caretakers for short periods of time. Senior Companions not only assist the frail elderly with chores and errands, they also help make the lives of the people they serve less lonely. Many Senior Companions serve individuals for several years and form the most meaningful friendships in their lives. Senior Companions usually serve two to four clients on a weekly basis, serving an average of 20 hours a week. Senior Companions meet income eligibility requirements and receive small stipends to offset the cost of volunteering.