Communicare continues to introduce caring volunteers to center city elders, many of whom have little or no family in the area and have outlived old friends. Volunteers offer a welcome sense of connection, someone to listen, share their concerns, help with decision-making and problem solving.

Depending on the elder’s needs, they also help with shopping, walks for exercise and pleasure, correspondence and record-keeping, outings for fun, etc. Some volunteers also accompany elders to medical appointments, helping to ensure that their questions are heard and responded to. Others provide transportation to get them there.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Philadelphia Activities Fund, Communicare is able to offer a much-appreciated opportunity: tickets to a variety of cultural events in the city. Volunteer/elder pairs can choose plays, concerts, films, lectures, etc. and have their ticket costs reimbursed by the fund. An elder who had never seen an opera attended with her volunteer and enjoyed every minute. During the holidays Ms. K (94!) and her volunteer Emily saw The Nutcracker for the second year in a row, a treat her limited budget doesn’t cover. Later this month a blind elder and friend will visit the Zoo, something Ms. C. loves but hasn’t been able to do in years. Finally, a man who is a life-long music lover and once worked as a waiter at the Opera-themed Victor Café, heard two wonderful concerts at the Kimmel Center. He gets around with difficulty and uses a walker, but Brian, his volunteer, made the outings happen.

Over the past 21 years Communicare has been fortunate to attract a variety of exceptional volunteers, each with something special to offer the individuals they are paired with. Over time, volunteers can and do become trusted friends, willing and able to offer needed support. Current volunteers include the following community-minded individuals whose generous commitment to center city elders is gratefully acknowledged by Communicare.

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