The John Muir Health Caring Hands Volunteer Caregivers Program provides free, non-medical services to seniors in our community by selectively matching them with specially trained volunteer caregivers who visit with them in their homes on a regular basis. The program’s unique “one-to-one” matching system is based on geography, life experiences, personal interests and other factors so that every senior gains a truly caring friend who provides general assistance and basic transportation. With the help of Caring Hands volunteers, seniors are able to benefit from regular social interaction and companionship that help prevent loneliness and isolation, which can lead to higher incidences of illness and depression. In addition to helping seniors, Caring Hands volunteers can provide much needed relief for dedicated caregivers as well.
There are more than 164,000 seniors age 65 or older living in Contra Costa County, and more join their ranks every day. Many of these older adults are still living independently in their homes, but often have health challenges that limit their mobility and physical capability to perform routine household chores. Without some type of assistance or support system, these seniors can create serious health and safety risks for themselves and others. The John Muir Health Caring Hands Volunteer Caregivers Program can help provide needed assistance and support for these local senior residents.
In 1999, the Caring Hands program began with a vision of a world where every senior has a caring friend and no one grows old alone. Today, the Caring Hands program has grown to include 300 trained volunteers who provide nearly 400 seniors in our local community with life-enhancing services on a weekly basis, including friendly visits and companionship, general assistance and transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping and other activities. All services are free of charge. The Caring Hands program is now in such high demand that currently there are 50 seniors on a list waiting to be matched with a volunteer caregiver.