Friendly Visits

SNAP’s Friendly Visit Service: Helps establish a one-to-one relationship between a SNAP Volunteer and a homebound and/or disabled neighbor, by providing companionship that helps bolster positive thinking and engagement in community. Friendly visits enhance the quality of life of aging seniors who wish to age in place in our community, for as long as possible. The on-going concern and support of a Friendly Visitor-Volunteer enhances well being.

Time:
Half-hour visit is recommended.

Volunteer Duties
:
May include any of the following and more:
Listening  |  Friendship  | Companionship | Social Opportunities

Do’s and Don’ts of a Friendly Visit:

DO

  • Listen – Be interested and responsive, even to a story told repeatedly.  Interject and give new focus to the story as needed. Sometimes only 15 minutes to a half-hour of simple chat is needed.
  • Read aloud if Client would be interested.
  • Talk about news of the day to discover Client areas of interest, but not to discuss politics.
  • Help Client revive old interests, talents or hobbies.
  • Help Client develop new interests, such as scrapbooks, plants, pets, knitting, drawing, music, cards, TV, community affairs, etc.
  • Remember:  Simple, thoughtful gestures can bring tremendous pleasure to Client.
  • Play simple games – checkers, Scrabble, cards, cross-word puzzles, etc.
  • Admire and give importance to objects the Client shows you.
  • Encourage and help Client maintain a sense of independence by noticing and commenting on well-done household chores, projects, etc.
  • Be respectful if Client wants to talk about friends, relatives, who they are, where they are, how they relate to the Client.

Respect confidences – but be observant of any conditions, discussions or situations which may warrant SNAP’s additional attention…and report back if anything concerns you during the visit.

DON’T

  • . . .be condescending or patronizing.
  • . . .be too sympathetic.
  • . . .bring your own problems to the friend in a burdening or monopolizing manner.
  • . . .be critical or engage in arguments.
  • . . .make promises you may not be able to keep.
  • . . .get discouraged quickly.
  • . . .“push” Client into an activity – a gentle prod, encouragement, and the right timing are helpful.
  • . . .give advice regarding business or legal matters
  • . . .give physical, hands-on care!  If this is required, call the SNAP line or coordinator
  • . . .give medication or any medicine.
  • . . .tire the older person.  Their physical capabilities may not be the same as yours.
  • . . .gossip about your friend to your family or other friends and associates.
  • …promise anything that raises expectations unrealistically.

If any follow up is needed, please complete the SNAP Volunteer Observation form and also call the Coordinator if there is an urgent need.

Remember –
A Friendly Visit can enrich your life and the life of the Client.