Do you want to know more about being a volunteer participant in our ElderFriends volunteer companionship 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 elders who participate in ElderFriends?

The elders who participate in ElderFriends are age 60 or older, live in King County, and report feeling lonely or isolated. Our elders are not bed-ridden, but may experience limited mobility and may use a walker or wheelchair.

What training will I receive?

Prior to beginning service, training is provided via online eLearning and Zoom meeting with ElderFriends staff. This initial training will orient you to program services, community resource information, health, safety, and confidentiality, and establishing visits, among other topics.

Staff will continue to support you and offer further guidance on an individual basis, once you are matched with an elder friend.

How do I know I’ll have a successful match?

We take into account the information you provide on your matching preferences form and the preferences of the elders to make the best possible match. Some key factors include geographical location, shared interests, and shared values.

Once you are matched, we ask that you report volunteer hours and feedback within your online volunteer profile after each visit with your elder friend, so we may continue supporting you.

What if my elder and I don’t fit?

You do not have to make a decision right away about committing to a friendship.

Each match starts with a three month trial period. While you are getting to know each other, ElderFriends staff check in with you and the elder participant once a month to monitor the progress of your relationship and provide support.

Either you or the elder may choose to be rematched at any point.

What happens after the initial trial period?

If you and your new elder friend are both interested in continuing to be matched, your match will be finalized, and you will continue visiting at least twice a month for at least a year.

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 get started?

Fill out a Volunteer Application.

You will be asked to complete a phone interview, background check, reference checks, and additional paperwork, including a confidentiality policy and pledge.