VHA Home HealthCare
Seniors Entertainment and/OR Visiting Volunteer
Make a Difference in Your Community VHA Home HealthCare (VHA) believes that quality care begins with quality people. Our volunteers work directly with our clients and make a difference in people’s lives every day. An activity support pilot program is being implemented in Toronto. We’re looking for volunteers who share and enhance VHA’s values of:
Client and family focused care
A co-operative and collaborative work environment
Continuous quality improvement
Advocacy for our clients and their families
Activity Support Volunteers
Social isolation and loneliness are growing concerns that significantly impact the health and well-being of seniors. Social interaction and engagement in physical activity has been shown to improve mood, enhance quality of life and avoid detrimental events such as falls, hospitalization and premature morbidity. Activity Support volunteers will play a key role in addressing social isolation and loneliness among seniors in the community through social interaction and encouragement to engage in physical activity. Volunteers will visit seniors in a hospital setting and engage in meaningful activities such as walking, interacting through games, conversations and arts and crafts.
The Kew Beach building is a 24/7 inpatient facility supporting frail seniors at risk. All volunteers need to self-screen before arriving on the unit and on entry into the unit. Volunteers must follow IPAC guidelines on hand hygiene, use of procedure mask and eye protection. Use of PPE will be reviewed and monitored by the unit manager.
AREA SERVED: East Toronto, Kingston Road/Woodbine
Visit seniors weekly - same day for 2-3 hours (Weekdays, between 9am-5pm)
Engage in simple, gentle, seated activities such as games, puzzles, cards
Must be sensitive to clients with cognitive impairment; hearing and vision needs; clients high risk for falls
Volunteers must follow the direction of the unit manager in the event of an emergency or urgent clinical need that may take priority over activities
Engage in meaningful conversation with seniors/residents
Complete and submit weekly log
Do you have a talent that could entertain an isolated older adult? Do you play a non-wind instrument? Do you have another talent that entertains? Let us know. We would love you to entertain residents.
Note: This role can be both social visiting and entertaining if you have a talent to offer. Or, you can be a supportive visitor only.
2-3 hours plus travel time per week
Visits must be between Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm
Able to commit for minimum of 12 weeks
Opportunities will be available to visit more than one client during this time frame
AGE REQUIREMENT: Must be 18 years-old or older.
Visits occur in a congregate setting with frail seniors in Toronto East.
Friendly and caring attitude
Experience and sensitivity working with culturally diverse individuals and families
Excellent oral and listening skills
Previous volunteer experience an asset
Occupational Therapy or related discipline an asset
Understanding of the aging process, impact of aging on the individual and family, an asset
Background in gerontology, recreation, social work, social services an asset
Related experience with older adults
Knowledge of community resources an asset
Entertaining talent an asset - music, improv, juggling, etc.
Volunteers are supported through orientation, training and on-going support
We provide an environment where volunteers are engaged, challenged, and rewarded
Opportunities to meet new people; Support your community
Make a difference in seniors’ lives with needed supports
Gain valuable work experience to build your resume
Reference letter given after fulfillment of commitment
Build on your communication, interpersonal and leadership skills
Develop social and professional networks
No personal care given to client by volunteer
No touching residents, volunteers do not move residents from bed or other position or location; no clinical work to be done by volunteers
No exchange of personal contact information (phone numbers, e-mails, addresses)
Keep disclosure of other personal information limited; no social media engagement
Do not accept gifts from clients; Do not give gifts
ORIENTATION AND TRAINING
Orientation to the agency and volunteer program
Training on various aspects of experience of social isolation, loneliness, aging, impact of loss on physical and mental health
SCREENING AND SUPERVISION
Application form with 2 references
Criminal Reference check including Vulnerable Sector Screening
Signed Volunteer, Confidentiality agreements; Policies; Waiver; Release
Independent and group learning & training
Reports to Coordinator on a regular basis
Coordinator will be available for feedback and support
For more information, contact
Dawn Ashford, BSW
Coordinator of Volunteers
If you require accommodation to participate in the screening process, please let us know.
About VHA Home HealthCare Since 1925, VHA Home HealthCare—a not-for-profit, charity—has empowered Ontarians to create possibilities for more independence. VHA’s team of over 2,000 support clients in throughout Ontario and are a founding member agency of United Way Toronto.