Caring Hands Volunteer Services Find New Homes
In 2018, 1,250 people donated more than 128,000 hours of volunteer service in support of our patients and their families. Some volunteers work behind the scenes, while others interact directly with patients, visitors, staff, and doctors. The Caring Hands program has been one way that volunteers help seniors remain independent and in their homes as long as possible. As our team examined the best way to serve seniors, it became clear that we had an opportunity to integrate Caring Hands with existing community resources that provide the same support.
Our Caring Hands program will sunset on August 1, 2019. At that time, our team will begin referring seniors seeking transportation and companion services to local community resources, including two of our community partners – Mobility Matters and Meals on Wheels Diablo Region. While we understand this news may be disappointing, we believe more seniors will have access to life-enhancing services that help improve their quality of life and maintain independence. By working together, we are able to serve more seniors and can have a greater overall impact.
Like Caring Hands, Mobility Matters provides door-through-door rides for medical appointments, pharmacy and grocery needs. They also offer some advantages over our Senior Transportation Program — more frequent rides, services for assisted living clients, and transportation for those who’ve had minor surgical procedures. In addition, Mobility Matters’ service area includes West Contra Costa County, which was not served by Caring Hands.
The Caring Hands one-on-one Matching Program will transition to community organizations, including Meals on Wheels Diablo Region’s Friendly Visitors program. In addition to the Friendly Visitors program, Meals on Wheels Diablo Region delivers meals to seniors (60 years or older) who are homebound, no longer driving, unable to prepare food themselves, and who do not have a caregiver that prepares meals. They also provide fall prevention, wellness and care management programs to seniors.
We encourage you to think about volunteering with one of these community organizations or in one of the many other volunteer roles available at John Muir Health.