The Center for Volunteer Caregiving’s mission is to provide volunteer services to help
Wake County seniors, family caregivers, and adults with disabilities
maintain independence, dignity, and quality of life.

North Carolina is expected to have 1,445,000 seniors by the year 2015. Currently, there are 70,000 people over age 65 in Wake County.  By 2014 200,000 people over the age of 65 are expected to live in Wake County. This is an average of 37% increase per year. (Statistics from Wake County Aging Plan) One day, we could be helping you or someone you care about. The Center for Volunteer Caregiving offers a solution.

The Center was founded in 1992 by members of local faith communities, health care and social service professionals. The structure of The Center is based upon a national model developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Faith in Action Program. This model was designed to provide support to older adults and adults with disabilities to help them live in their own homes as long as possible.

The Center serves, residents of Wake County, living at home, not in a long term care facility. Individuals aged 60 or above with economic or social needs that put them at risk of compromised health or institutional placement. Individuals aged between 18 and 60 with a disability or chronic health issue that put them at risk of compromised health or institutional placement.

The Center provides services through three core programs: The Transportation Program, The Caregiver Support Program, and In-Home Connections Program. There are no fees for these services.

Transportation Program
Transportation is the most often cited unmet need. This program provides volunteer services for escorted and door-through-door transportation for medical appointments, prescription pick-up and grocery shopping.
In 2010 volunteers provided 3,758 rides totaling 18,899 miles. 87.5% of the seniors we serve reported having a better sense of well being because of receiving rides from The Center.  Without transportation many could not keep medical appointments.

Caregiver Support
The Center provides support to families that are caring for a loved one with dementia or a disabling condition. The Center’s Caregiver Support Program provides respite or “time off” for primary caregivers who often dedicate all of their energy to meeting the needs of a loved one while postponing their own needs which can jeopardize their own physical health and emotional well-being. More than half of family caregivers report they do not have time to take care of themselves.  A respite volunteer allows family caregivers to get the care they need to stay healthy both physically and emotionally.
In 2010 volunteers provided 1401 hours of caregiver support. 88.2% of Caregivers surveyed felt less stress over caring for their relative and trying to meet other responsibilities for family or work because of receiving Respite Services from The Center.
“It has greatly enriched both of our lives.  I feel more “normal” having others share in my world”.

In Home Connections
This program seeks to alleviate social isolation and depression that often accompanies the physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges facing older adults and adults with disabilities who are homebound.  Volunteers provide friendly visits in person or on the telephone. Researchers spotted 20 years ago that social isolation is not just bad for a person, but can actually shorten their life span. Since then, there’s been a steady stream of research pointing in the same direction. Yet loneliness is not treated as a serious health risk, in the same way as, say, smoking or obesity.
Chore Services includes light housekeeping, yard work and shopping and are focused on maintaining a safe and healthy environment in addition to social contact.
In 2010, 100% of seniors surveyed were more satisfied with the state of their home since receiving services from a volunteer and agreed they were able to live more independently because they received help from a volunteer.

“One visit per week from a Volunteer Caregiver can prevent an elderly person from having to move out of their home.”  CB, Social Worker, Rex Home Health Services

With the societal trend toward two income families (fewer children available to provide assistance to older family members) informal caregiving is a more challenging and stressful task than in years before.  For those living alone, social isolation may be compounded by the inability to drive oneself.  In Wake County, as in other communities, the cost of privately hiring a companion or paying for transportation or help to support a family’s efforts can be exorbitant, and help can be hard to find.  The Center for Volunteer Caregiving offers a solution.