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Peer Support program seeks volunteers to help local seniors

A new RSVP Peer Support program matches volunteers, age 55 and older, with older adults who would like to have someone visit them on a weekly basis to assist in meeting their personal health and well-being goals.

Many seniors in our community are isolated and alone. This can be especially difficult for those who are trying to achieve health objectives, said Marj Cannon, RSVP Coordinator. The program's goal is for volunteers to provide support that empowers seniors to make the changes needed to improve their health and well being.

“It could be as simple as helping to create a grocery list to meet nutritional goals, or plan a schedule for getting more exercise,” Cannon said.

Some older adults appreciate learning how to communicate better with their doctors. “The important thing is that they are not alone in their efforts because they have the support of a peer volunteer,” she said.

Having a caring individual visit just once a week can have an enormous impact on the life of a senior. “It really doesn’t take much to make a big difference,” Cannon said. Volunteers do not need any special experience, just a caring heart and a desire to help. They receive full training, and work closely with program staff to support the person with whom they are carefully matched.

The Peer Support program is one of many RSVP opportunities in Multnomah County for volunteers age 55 and older. RSVP is a national program, housed locally at Metropolitan Family Service, an organization that creates opportunities that bridge generations and inspires all people to live their best life. For more information, call Deborah 503-232-0007 ext. 222 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..