Friendly visiting programs typically match a volunteer to an isolated senior for regular social contact. Friendly visiting programs are usually based out of a community centre, social service agency or faith-based organization. Following a hub and spoke model (like a wheel), the community centre is a hub of community engagement with friendly visiting providing ‘spoke’ services.
Friendly visiting is about increasing interpersonal contact and enhancing social connection. Friendly visiting programs should recognize that both parties are volunteering by contributing time, experience and talents to a mutually-beneficial relationship.
How it works
Friendly visiting pairs are usually matched based on shared interests as well as logistical considerations (e.g. scheduling, location) to promote a long-lasting connection. Together, matched pairs play games, go for walks, attend community events and more. They usually connect for about an hour a week.
areas of service
There are three broad areas of service delivery:
Face-to-face interaction in the client's home or out in the community
Social connection over the phone (also known as telephone reassurance)
Information about community events and activities, often hosted by the backing community agency
Friendly visiting is an evidence-based intervention that helps reduce social isolation.