The In-Home Senior Respite program serves families in DuPage County who are caring for a senior loved one in the home regardless of income. Created in 2001, the program has served over 1500 caregivers and their loved ones. As the proportion of older adults in the population increases, there is a greater and greater need for assistance to families caring for a senior loved one at home.
Volunteers are community members from all walks of life; teachers, nurses, homemakers, business executives, and military veterans to name a few. Some are retired, some are working. Volunteers provide no medical or personal care, but simply visit with a senior to maintain their quality of life and provide respite for family caregivers. What they all have in common is a commitment to serve the community and compassion for others. Many volunteers stay with the program for years, serving many families. Volunteers are always needed, especially weekday, daytime volunteers and male volunteers. The In-Home Senior Respite program serves seniors and their families throughout DuPage County. The need is great and typically 10-15 families are on the waiting list at any given time.
What does a volunteer do?
Visits with a senior while the family caregiver takes a much needed break; during visits a volunteer might…
- Play Cards
- Listen to Great Stories
- Read Aloud
- Watch Old Movies
- Arts and Crafts
- Look at Old Photos
- …the possibilities are endless!!
The most common volunteer opportunity involves social visits with frail seniors to provide respite for a family caregiver, but other opportunities are also available.
Three Hour Weekly commitment - Individual
Volunteers visit with a senior once a week for three hours. Usually the visit occurs at the same time and on the same day each week, but this can change according to the needs of the volunteer and the family. This volunteer opportunity is the most common.
Six Hour Weekly commitment – Team
Two volunteers are matched with a family and initially volunteer together, starting with three hours a week. Eventually, each volunteer visits on a different time and day, for a total of six hours a week, three per volunteer. Team member’s work together to share ideas for making visits meaningful and interesting while offering extra support to a caregiver in dire need of respite care. It also allows friends, co-workers or family members the opportunity of working together to help a family.
Three Hour Weekly Commitment – Intergenerational
Grandparents or parents and a child 12 years or older visit with a senior once a week for three hours. The visit usually occurs at the same time and on the same day each week, but may vary according to the needs of the volunteers and the family. This volunteer opportunity is ideal for grandparents or parents whishing to spend time with a child in a meaningful, service-oriented way.
Three Hour Weekly Commitment- Summer Substitute
Volunteers visit with a senior one a week for three hours during the summer while the regular volunteer is on vacation. Assignments may last anywhere from one to three weeks and go from June 1 through August 31. This volunteer opportunity is ideal for college students who wish to volunteer while on summer break, or for those wishing to volunteer for a short time.
Flexible Commitment Times - Individual
Volunteers visit with a senior at the request of the family for special or unexpected events. Visits do not take place at the same time or on the same day and visits will vary in time commitment. Volunteers may go several weeks without a visit. Volunteers are usually given at least one week notice for a visit. Volunteers will be matched with two families to allow for relationship building and comfort of the senior. Families may also have a regular three hour a week volunteer providing respite. This option is ideal for those not wishing to make a weekly commitment and who have a fairly flexible schedule.
Flexible Commitment Times – Group
Groups of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or faith members are matched with a family who has an extreme need for respite. Visit times and days are limited only by group members’ availability, although the weekly minimum is 9 hours. This opportunity is ideal for groups of three or more who wish to work together to help a family.
Volunteers provide talents and skills helping to administer the program from the Wheaton office. Tasks include; filing, computer work, marketing and customer service. Hours are flexible and chosen by the volunteer. This option is ideal for those who wish to volunteer for seniors without serving in a direct service capacity.
Volunteers with a particular talent for fundraising may share their talents by serving in the Wheaton office helping raise money to fund the program. Hours are flexible and chosen by the volunteer.
At Home Volunteer
Volunteers complete projects in their own homes. These may include, developing marketing materials, updating websites, research or fundraising.
Requirements for an In-Home Senior Respite Volunteer:
- 18 years of age or older
- Phone Interview
- In-Person Interview
- Three hour Training
- Background Check
- Minimum six month commitment
- Minimum three hours a week
- A desire to Help Others
- An Interest in Working with Seniors
- Monthly Timesheet Report
If you would like to apply to be an In-home Senior Respite volunteer, please click here and fill out the online application. If you have questions about being an In-home Senior Respite volunteer or would like more information, please contact Jody Kanikula at 630-784-4875 or email@example.com.
If you are currently an In-home Senior Respite volunteer, please click here to login to your account via VicNet.