Skilled nursing homes are constantly seeking dedicated volunteers to enhance the quality of life for residents through their kindness, patience, and enthusiasm. Many nursing home residents have no visitors; a volunteer that helps fill that void can be invaluable.
If you are interested in committing to regular visits to a skilled nursing home in your area, take the following steps:
Contact the Activity Director at the facility. He/she is usually the point person for coordinating volunteer efforts. Some facilities may have a Volunteer Coordinator overseeing the volunteer program. If this is the case, the Activity Director can refer you to that person.
Discuss your interests or the interests of your organization and ask about volunteer opportunities at the facility. Are they a good match?
Realize that volunteers in skilled nursing facilities require background checks, some training/orientation, and proof of immunizations. These measures are all in place to ensure the ongoing health and safety of facility residents as well as volunteers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have not been allowed to visit nursing homes since March of 2020. However, many facilities are using volunteers to help keep residents engaged with virtual activities. Here are some examples of how volunteers can engage virtually with nursing home residents.
For skilled nursing and assisted living providers, the California Association of Health Facilities Volunteer Engagement project has also created a handbook and staff training video available for download at www.cahf.org/volunteerprograms.