Pioneer Network Hot Topics – Culture Change in Action

October 21, 2021: Someone Just for Me: Recognizing a Critical Role for Volunteers
Speaker: Dr. Paul Falkowski, Ph.D., Gerontologist, Author, Speaker, Educator

Long before COVID-19, professionals working in long-term care knew about the devastating effects of social isolation. Now because of COVID-19, social isolation has become an all too familiar term to the general population. We heard reports of people passing due to being disconnected from their families and friends during the past year. But what about the people who did not have family or friends?

Creating and sustaining intimate relationships takes time and commitment. In this session, you will learn the critical components for creating “authentic” relationships. You will learn how to recruit, screen for, and train a cadre of volunteers, who go on to become “companions” or, as one older woman observed, “…someone that is here just for me.” We’ll look at the transformational power volunteers like these can have on the people you serve, the people serving them, the volunteers themselves, and your surrounding community.