Let’s face it, caring for our loved ones at home can be stressful if we never have time to care for ourselves, as well. Volunteer assistance and support is offered to caregivers who want to keep loved ones at home despite disabilities or chronic illnesses, yet may not have the funds to arrange for the other types of fee-based in-home services. The following programs are volunteer based.
5738 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217
AgeWell Pittsburgh provides assistance and support to caregivers in maintaining health and independence through access to programs and resources in the community.
- Night-time Memory Program
This service is for individuals who are awake for the majority of the night. Their caregivers cannot get any rest and are therefore more likely to suffer from stress and physical illness. The Nighttime Memory Program allows caregivers an opportunity to sleep while their loved one is well cared for in a safe environment. It is available Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.
- Agewell Visits
This is a service in which volunteers provide free weekly one-hour visits with seniors in their own homes. It combats loneliness and isolation, which in turn keeps older adults more connected and healthier while remaining independent. Volunteers range from young families to high school students to adults of all ages.
East End Cooperative Ministry
6140 Station St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
This interfaith ministry offers 24-hour shelter and non-medical respite care for adults who are unable to return to their prior housing situation and are in need of a comfortable place to rest and heal after a hospital discharge. This care is offered at the Orr Compassionate Care Center in East Liberty, a home-like setting for up to 12 individuals. This respite care program requires a referral from a counselor or case manager.
Caregivers First Initiative
2644 Banksville Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Familylinks assists individuals and families who are struggling with mental health issues, developmental disabilities, addictions, abuse, behavioral problems, illnesses, maintaining independence and other life challenges. Its Caregivers First Initiative helps caregivers balance life with their caregiving duties. The program provides caregivers with free tools and resources they need to manage stress, problem solve and use their strengths efficiently. It also connects caregivers with other caregivers as a support system.
TTY (800) 988-0668
People Able to Lend Support (PALS) is a program that provides non-medical, in-home services and activities to seniors living within the communities served by Highmark. PALS volunteers are screened and trained to provide friendly visits and help with everyday activities such as grocery shopping and other errands, meal preparation, household chores and yard work.
183 Shafer Rd.
Moon Township, PA 15108
(412) 369-HOPE (4673)
A non-profit organization which provides counseling, support, education, resources, and respite to caregivers.
In Service of Seniors: Pittsburgh
6401 Penn Ave., Second Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
In Service of Seniors: Pittsburgh provides volunteer-based assistance to Allegheny County residents age 60 and older to help residents stay living safely and independently in their homes. Caring, trained volunteers provide the following services free of charge: friendly visits, transportation to grocery stores, medical appointments and errands; assistance reading mail; and home safety checks. Staff members also provide information and referral services to connect callers with appropriate community resources.
Senior Companion Program of Allegheny County
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Area Agency on Aging
(412) 350-5460 or (412) 350-4258
Senior companions are older adults who help other older adults live independently. They provide support to family caregivers and assist with daily tasks and errands such as accompanying them to doctor’s appointments. Most of all, senior companions fill the role of a friend for other seniors who need companionship; and they provide a watchful eye to notice when a senior needs extra care. Those who volunteer as senior companions discover that few things feel as good as knowing you’re needed.
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
H. J. Heinz Campus
1010 Delafield Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15215
(412) 360-6000 or (866) 482-7488
The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Aspinwall location offers a respite program for veterans living at home. Respite care can also be provided at a VA contracted nursing home. Veterans must be actively enrolled in a VA primary care clinic or other outpatient service to be eligible. Case management services are the primary form of care. VA Respite Care provides periodic relief to caregivers through scheduled short-term admissions to a Community Living Center. Eligible veterans can be admitted for a maximum of 30 days per fiscal year (October 1 through September 30).