Want to know more about being an elder in our ElderFriends program? Here are some commonly asked questions.

Who oversees the ElderFriends program?

ElderFriends is a service of Full Life Care, a not-for-profit health and social services organization based in Seattle. Full Life is dedicated to improving the quality of life for adults and their caregivers. We help adults of all ages with chronic illnesses and physical or developmental disabilities regardless of their income.

Who are the volunteer participants in ElderFriends?

The “friends” part of ElderFriends are trained volunteers from across King County. Each of our volunteers must apply to be part of the program. ElderFriends staff screen, train and support volunteers throughout the friendship.

How much does it cost to participate in ElderFriends?

Nothing. ElderFriends receives funding through the City of Seattle, charitable foundation grants and individual donations. There is no cost to participants or volunteers.

Why would I want to participate?

Elders participate for a number of reasons. ElderFriends is a way to help develop a friendship with another adult volunteer. It allows you to share your experiences with someone, and to create new memories as you build your relationship.

Volunteers want to develop a friendship with an older adult in the community who desires to receive a regular visitor.

What if my volunteer and I don’t fit?

You don’t have to make a decision right away about committing to a friendship.

Your first two to three visits are on a trial basis, so you and your volunteer can get to know one another. We work hard to find the perfect volunteer match for you. However, if you don’t seem to “click,” that’s OK. We will work to find you another friend.

How does the program work?

ElderFriends staff reviews your referral form and works with you to find the best volunteer possible who will visit with you on a regular basis. Once we find your best match, we’ll contact you to discuss the next steps.

Once you and a volunteer have agreed, here’s what happens next:

  1. The volunteer will first call you to arrange a time to visit you.
  2. After a 3-month trial period, if you both decide that you enjoy each other’s company and wish to continue visits, our volunteers are committed to visiting you at least 2 times a month for a year.
  3. All visits are arranged between you and the volunteer.
  4. ElderFriends staff will remain in contact with you and your volunteer regularly throughout the relationship.
  5. You or your volunteer can stop the visits at any time and for any reason.

How long will the friend stay during a visit?

Volunteers generally visit with you for about an hour. They will only visit for as long as you both are comfortable.

What should I expect during these visits?

Volunteer visits are like socializing with any other friend. You can sit and talk over coffee, or go to lunch or a movie, for example. It’s up to you and your friend to decide what you’d like to do.

What are volunteers NOT allowed to do?

  • Volunteers will not lend or accept money.
  • Volunteers are not expected to perform any chores or errands.
  • Volunteers will not perform any health care duties.
  • Volunteers will not get involved with any financial or legal matters and cannot give legal or financial advice.

How do I sign up to participate in an ElderFriends?

Complete our referral form online, click here to download a referral application, or call 206.224.3790.