In 2003, I began working in the Living Room program and I was impressed by how much Senior Friendship Centers had to offer to seniors in the area.
Since 2008, I have been the coordinator of the Friendship at Home program, which provides short-term intervention for seniors who may be faced with choosing between food, rent, utilities, and medicine. We can help them make home modifications to keep them safe. The Friendship at Home program also matches caring volunteers with isolated seniors through telephone reassurance and friendly visitors, offering companionship.
There are seniors who may just be lonely and isolated and not necessarily in need of direct care services, but they need to hear a friendly voice or share a visit. We can provide such friendship through our volunteers. Volunteers can also help with transportation for doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping. We match the clients with volunteers based on need and mutual interests.
Through supportive intervention, we help individuals who need a one-time service, such as grab bar installation, a minor home repair, or financial help.
Often I hear the words “I would have never thought in my life that I would be in this situation,” and I think to myself that this is very true and how you never know when or if you will find yourself in a similar position.
I must say that I enjoy working with seniors, and that there is nothing more rewarding than making someone’s day and seeing the smile that I have placed on their face.
I feel so fortunate that I can help seniors who are in need of assistance.
About Ola Medrzycki
Ola Medrzycki is the Friendship at Home coordinator in Venice. Ola received the Community Foundation of Sarasota and the Wilson-Wood Foundation 2012 Award for Excellence, honoring selfless individuals who often go unnoticed, but who make a vital contribution to our quality of life. That’s Ola!