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Getting Involved

There is no more satisfying activity than giving of your time to help others. Volunteers play a vital role in New York State's communities by contributing their talents and experience. If you think you may be interested in volunteering, take a next step!

Opportunities for Older Americans

The New Yorkers Volunteer(External Link) website is an interactive site designed to help you find opportunities to volunteer across the State and to enhance the recruitment capabilities for so many of New York's community organizations.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program offers maximum flexibility and choice to its volunteers. RSVP matches the personal interests and skills of older Americans with opportunities to help solve community problems. There are currently RSVP programs serving New York City, Long Island and the majority of counties of upstate New York.

The Foster Grandparent Program

In the Foster Grandparent Program, Foster Grandparents devote their volunteer service to one population: children with special or exceptional needs. Across the state, Foster Grandparents are offering emotional support to child victims of abuse and neglect, tutoring children who lag behind in reading, mentoring troubled teenagers and young mothers, and caring for premature infants and children with physical disabilities and severe illnesses. There are currently 17 Foster Grandparent Programs located throughout New York State.

The Senior Companion Program

Thanks to the Senior Companion Program, Senior Companions reach out to adults, who need extra assistance to live independently in their own homes or communities. Senior Companions assist their adult clients in basic but essential ways: they provide companionship and friendship to isolated frail seniors, assist with simple chores, provide transportation, and add richness to their clients' lives. Senior Companions serve frail older adults and their caregivers, adults with disabilities, and those with terminal illnesses. There are 21 Senior Companion Programs located in New York State operated by the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities or non-profit organizations.

New York State Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program

The New York State Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) provides free, confidential, accurate and unbiased health insurance information, counseling and assistance. Become a trained HIICAP volunteer counselor or staff member and explain the coverage, costs and options of Medicare, managed care, Medigap insurance and long term care insurance. Contact the HIICAP program closest to you.

New York Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman

Are you interested in using your time and talents to serve as an advocate for nursing home and adult care facility residents? The New York Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman is looking for volunteers to serve as certified Ombudsmen to improve the quality of care and quality of life for New Yorkers who live in long term care facilities. If you are interesed in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, please visit our Long Term Care Ombudsman Website(External Link).

Contact Your Local Office for the Aging for More Opportunities

There are 59 local offices which serve each county, the City of New York, the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation and the Seneca Nation of Indians. Local offices for the aging have many opportunities available for older volunteers and can be an important source of information on other volunteer opportunities available in your community. Contact the local office for the aging near where you live.