Since opening our Boston doors in 1979 we have been reaching out to isolated and low-income elderly women and men with a friendly smile and an arm to lean on. Our programs, listed below, are offered without any charge. If you or someone you know would benefit from our programs please contact us. The elders we serve are 70 years of age and above, live in the City of Boston (Allston/Brighton, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, Dorchester, Downtown, East Boston, Fenway, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston, South End, and West Roxbury), have little or no social and family contacts, and live with very limited financial means.
Intergenerational Matching Program – Volunteers are matched with elder friends to develop long-term relationships. Volunteers commit to visit regularly, 3 - 4 hours a month. The value of the personal connection of the visitor and the elder cannot be underestimated. The elders look forward to the visits: for many, this is the only visitor they receive who comes because they want to be there and not because they are being paid (homemakers, health aides, etc.). The elders in this program are the most vulnerable. In addition to friendly chats, watching movies and going for walks, elders may be assisted by their “visiting friends” with the daily challenges of living independently, including balancing check books, sorting mail, small chores around their homes, shopping, banking, filling prescriptions, arranging medical appointments and transportation if needed. The companionship provided helps ward off potential health risks that have greater potential among those with little social interaction. Since the matched volunteers interact with their “old friend” regularly, they are in a position to note when the behavior or health of the elder changes in any way, and to keep us posted or request additional assistance.
On-Call Emergency Services - Volunteers and staff provide to vulnerable elders services not provided by other organizations. They provide valuable and essential social support while they assist elders with the tasks of daily living – escorting them to medical and other appointments, shopping, banking, filling prescriptions and running errands. Volunteers also deliver food packages from the Little Brothers –Friends of the Elderly Emergency Food Pantry.
Holiday Celebrations – Holidays celebrated are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter/Passover (kosher meals are provided), Mother’s & Father’s Day. On these six holidays volunteers provide companionship and nutritious home delivered meals and food packages, visiting with elders on days when other services are closed.
Social Activities – Provide monthly opportunities for elders and volunteers to gather for socialization, recreation and good food. Examples of the types of monthly gatherings include; Brunch Clubs, special luncheons to commemorate Martin Luther King Day or celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, summer picnics and other monthly celebrations.
Also, working with the local Jewish Children and Family Services and a rabbi, we are bringing Jewish elders together in commemoration of Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and Chanukah.
Telephone Reassurance – Volunteers and staff maintain frequent contact with frail elders to reassure them and check on their well being via telephone calls. If the elder is cannot be reached, a staff member or volunteer of Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly will make a visit to their home or apartment.
Advocacy – Volunteers and staff advocate on behalf of their elder friends, helping them to secure needed services that Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly does not provide but the elders are in need of.