LSS Better Together is looking for independently living adults aged 65+ to enroll in the program! It is an easy process, and so much joy can come from being part of this program. The older adults in Better Together are referred to as neighbors – signifying that they are not “clients” or recipients of a volunteers time.
To enroll, individuals must be at least 65 years of age and living on their own. We do not match anyone who is not yet 65 or people who reside in assisted living or nursing home facilities (senior apartments are ok). Participants must live in Brookings, Minnehaha or Lincoln counties. Most importantly, the people who enroll in the program must be open to going on social outings (when safe to do so) and connecting with a volunteer.
Better Together matches trained volunteers with an older adult for the purpose of socialization. We hope to help older South Dakotans reconnect with their community and remain living independently.
The first step is to complete an application. When we have received that, LSS will contact you to go over program details and to schedule a home visit by our staff. Our Better Together coordinator will visit your home to get to know you better and do an intake orientation and assessment.
If a volunteer is available and a good match, you will be paired up! We currently have a few volunteers waiting. That is not often the case. We do want to make this experience the best it can be, so we do not necessarily match the first people waiting together. We look for common interests, the ability to schedule meetings at times convenient for both people and general compatibility before making a match.
Once matched, older adults schedule times to meet with their volunteer. Typical activities include going to lunch, doing errands together, visiting parks or seeing all the things the community has to offer. We ask that matches spend about four hours per month together, and how they divide that time is up to each match.
LSS will be there to support each match along the way. Our program coordinator will do routine check-ins with each volunteer and neighbor in the program. We also offer an activity card to reduce the cost of some outings and host a free event each month that is open to all in the program. Participation is optional, but we hope matches join in on the fun!
Better Together has opened so many doors for those who take advantage of the program. Volunteers are always needed to! Like neighbors, the first step for people to get involved as a volunteer is to apply. If you need further convincing, take a look at some statistics in the graphic. Truly, almost all who have been part of Better Together have found fun and enjoyed their experience. Please contact us at 605-444-7803 to get started today!