Conversations to Remember is looking for high school and undergraduate college students to volunteer in our program. As volunteers, your role will be to interact with residents in senior living communities on a weekly basis.
Volunteers are expected to allocate a minimum of one hour each week to be on a video call with a resident from a community that we’ve partnered with. Some students volunteer for more than one visit per week, but volunteers’ multiple calls result in increased commitment, not increased flexibility. One of the characteristics of dementia is an increased reliance on consistency, so we ask our volunteers to make every effort to be available consistently, at their prearranged times. While we know that high school and college schedules often include rigorous, time-consuming course schedules, we do expect that our student volunteers take their commitment to be available each week to visit with their designated resident seriously. We are committed to having at least two students on each call, and if only one is available, we might be forced to cancel a call. This is disappointing to both the resident and the other student on the call.
When volunteers join our program, they will be provided with initial training in how our program works, as well as an overview of dementia and what they can expect from the residents that they’ll be visiting with on a regular basis. Volunteers will also be provided with guided mock visit practices to accustom them to what they should expect. Once they’ve completed these mock sessions, they will be notified when new volunteer opportunities are available. Students can then express their availability for those opportunities. They can also volunteer to work with any friends already in the program. In addition to training, Conversations to Remember will also provide guidance and suggested topics for discussion on a regular basis. Of course, some groups may very well find that no guidance is necessary, depending on the group dynamic.