Member Agency Story
Helping Lonely Seniors
Bettie has been a widow for 22 years and has struggled with profound loneliness. “It’s just my home and my dog,” she explained. However, as a participant in Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet Senior Companion Program, Bettie’s situation has improved dramatically.
The Senior Companion Program offers adults ages 55 and older the opportunity to support and interact with their home-bound peers through regularly-scheduled home visits. The program also helps older adults maintain their independence. Bettie’s senior companion is Monica.
“When Monica comes, she just brightens my whole day! She gives me something to look forward to,” Bettie said with a smile. “Catholic Charities’ Senior Companion Program rescues seniors and keeps them from being so terribly, terribly lonely.” Before becoming a client in the program, Bettie was a senior companion herself, but when her eyesight began to fail, she looked to Catholic Charities for help.
Now volunteer turned client, Bettie is enjoying the benefits of the program she once provided to others.
Monica, Bettie’s senior companion, looks forward to visiting Bettie as well. They have become quite close. Monica helps by taking Bettie to the doctor, dentist, shopping, out to lunch, or sometimes they just sit and visit.
Bettie has grown to love Monica. “We get along fantastically well, but then we have to say goodbye,” Bettie said with tears in her eyes. “At the end of our visit she has to go back to her world and I go back to mine, until next week.” Bettie eagerly anticipates each visit with her senior companion because her time with Monica helps her feel less lonely.