Benevilla Combats Social Isolation Through Their Home Services Program

June 13, 2019

Social isolation among our senior population is alarmingly common and will, unfortunately, continue to increase as this demographic grows. Social isolation has been demonstrated to lead to numerous detrimental health effects in older adults including an increased number of falls, feelings of loneliness negatively affecting both physical and mental health, increased vulnerability to elder abuse, an increased risk for dementia and even an increased risk for mortality. According to a report by AARP, the percentage of U.S. older adults who report feeling lonely has doubled since the 1980’s. About one-third of older adults in the U.S. over the age of 65 are living alone and that number jumps to fifty percent for those over the age of 85. (AARP – 2011). One study shows the prevalence of isolation among seniors who live at home may be as high as 43%. The best cure for loneliness, of course, is being around other people, but maintaining those connections gets more challenging as you age. Spouses and friends pass away, and physical challenges can make it difficult to leave the house. Younger family members may live across the country or be busy with jobs and children. Most seniors want to stay living at home for as long as possible and meeting their desire to age in place has many advantages. Considering the health risks associated with social isolation and loneliness and recognizing the lack of interaction older adults confined to their home experience, Benevilla, through their free Home Services Program, works to keep seniors vital, independent and healthy at home. Services are available short or long term to those with limited resources and options. This free volunteer driven program specifically focuses on decreasing the number of socially isolated older adults in the community.
The Benevilla Home Services social resources include “friendly visitors” and “phone pals”, grocery shopping, assisted transportation, business assistance and handyman services. Unfortunately, during
the summer months many of our gracious volunteers leave the area and head to cooler climates but the need for these services remains the same.
Please consider becoming a Benevilla volunteer. Volunteers are crucial to the Benevilla Home Services program and our mission of enriching the lives of senior citizens of our West Valley communities.
No special skills are required to become a volunteer and Benevilla offers many ways for volunteers to contribute. “Right now, our need is greatest in providing these home services,” says Paula Barron, Benevilla Volunteer Coordinator. “The more volunteers we have, the more people we can serve in our community.”
Generally, volunteers must be age 18 or older. However, youth volunteers are also welcome when a supervising adult can accompany them. Some volunteers give several hours each week, while others are welcome to provide just a few hours each month. “We appreciate every minute of their time, and so do those they are helping,” says Joanne Thomson, President and CEO of Benevilla. “Together with our dedicated staff members, volunteers help Benevilla serve thousands of people in our West Valley communities every year.”
To learn more about contributing to your community through volunteer opportunities at Benevilla, visit the organization’s website at or call 623.584.4999 today.