Senior Expectations

Weekly Availability

Our student volunteers are anxious to speak every week, so we’re looking for seniors who can carve out a specific day and time that they’ll be available every week for their virtual visit. Of course, if the schedule must be modified, that’s fine. We’ll just shift our schedules to acomodate it. We may need to change the volunteers assigned to the call, though, if their schedules are busy for the new time. Don’t worry, though, we have lots of students who are eager to spend time with you.


Our video visits require that all seniors have access to a device that they can use to communicate with the student volunteers. We recommend a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Seniors could use a smart phone, but since there are three students on the call with them, a larger screen might be easier to see them with. Any device that will be used must have a working camera and microphone.

Technical Ability

We use video visit technology that is very easy to use, but some people may still have a problem using it. We require someone to take responsibility for each visit, who will help the senior join the call if they’re unable to do it themselves. This can be a caregiver or a family member. We’ll reach out to them prior to each call to remind them that the senior’s call time is approaching, and that they need to help them begin the visit. If there are any difficulties encountered during the visit, we’ll reach out to them for assistance.

Cognitive Ability

Our volunteers are trained to be effective at building relationships with seniors facing various mental challenges. Our initial focus was on seniors experiencing dementia, so our volunteers understand the difficulties that seniors are navigating when they suffer from cognitive decline. Whether the issue is memory decline or altered perceptions of reality, that’s okay. If the senior has become withdrawn due to their dementia and is not very talkative, the students will do most of the talking, but always keep the senior the focus of the visit.


Remote visits require increased coordination. We understand that medical appointments, family obligations, and other events may require that the senior skip their visit. Someone must communicate that to us, so the volunteers are not endlessly waiting for the senior to join their video call. This consideration is mandatory. Someone must take responsibility for contacting us as soon as they know that the senior will not be available. Similarly, we will reach out to the designated contact if we need to cancel a call for any reason.