Make a Connection Volunteer

Make a Connection, Brighten Someone's Day

The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (DSORC) is pleased to be developing virtual, remote, and socially distanced solutions in an effort to continue providing support to caregivers and persons living with dementia while we are not able to do so in a pre COVID-19 model.

Volunteers play a crucial role in the Make a Connection program by providing meaningful social interactions to persons living with dementia, and to enable caregivers to take a break. Visits can be virtual, by telephone, or in-person, while keeping safe and socially distanced. As a volunteer, you receive training and guidance to prepare for this important role and are matched with a client based on aligning schedule, language, and, where necessary, accessibility or proximity to one another. Visits are typically 20 minutes to 1 hour on a weekly basis, and, if virtual, are on a variety of platforms such as the phone or Zoom, depending on the client’s preference and capabilities. The activities that make up these visits can vary, from simply chatting, listening to music, reading out loud, sharing photos, or going for a walk as examples. Whichever the activity, you will find this to be a rewarding and meaningful experience.

Primary Role and Responsibilities:

  • Maintain regular communication via e-mail and telephone
  • Communicate with caregiver as needed to arrange the details surrounding visits (date and time, materials needed, etc.)
  • Maintain communication with supervisor to provide updates on clients, forward questions, and offer feedback

Prepare and host remote and/or in-person visits

  • Coordinate and prepare any particular items needed for your visit (photos, music, videos, a list of the client’s interest, etc.)
  • Meet and engage with client in the preferred setting (phone, Zoom, in person etc.)
  • Provide troubleshooting support to those experiencing technical difficulty
  • Engage with participants and maintain enthusiasm, compassion, and patience

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Professionalism and a positive disposition with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Compassion, understanding and awareness of dementia
  • A valid (within last 6 months) Vulnerable Sector Check is required, which we help facilitate
  • Reliability – able to honour scheduled commitments
  • Discretion – must maintain confidentiality of all participants
  • Basic knowledge of DSORC programs and services (training provided)
  • Bilingualism an asset

Remote or Virtual Visits:

  • Tech-savvy, with the ability to independently troubleshoot common/minor technical issues such as audio/visual connectivity disruptions
  • Reliable access to both internet and email
  • Knowledge of/experience with Zoom or other online platforms is an asset
  • Patience and compassion when working with others who are not tech-savvy

Screening:

Selected applicants will submit a volunteer application form, followed by an interview and reference check as part of the application process with the Volunteer Coordinator. Successful applicants will be provided with orientation and role-specific training.

Apply Now

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    Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at jhuang@dsorc.org