Our volunteer caregiving assistance program, In Service of Seniors: Pittsburgh, is an important part of the Older Adult Services division at Family Services of Western Pennsylvania. Through long-standing partnerships with community organizations and local congregations of all faiths, the program serves close to 1,000 of Allegheny County’s aging adults each year.
The program operates with a small core staff as well as hundreds of volunteers. Staff provide Information and Assistance to seniors and caregivers who contact the program. Additionally, the staff provides outreach and training to older adults to inform them about the services provided by the program from volunteers, resources in the community, and home safety. Given the long-standing history with area congregataions of many faiths, the staff also provides targeted outreach to the faith-based community.
Volunteers work with older adults who struggle to live independently by assisting them with many tasks of daily living. Our caring volunteers enable the seniors they work with to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible. Volunteer support includes transportation to medical appointments, assistance with grocery shopping, home safety inspections, and more. Through the Open Your Heart to a Senior initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County, volunteers are recruited, trained, mobilized, and supported to provide high quality service to the area’s aging population.
In the early 1990s, aware of the large number of older adults living in isolation in their own homes or apartments in Allegheny County, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation started an organization called Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers (IVC) of Southwestern Pennsylvania. IVC became an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 1993.
In October 2006, IVC merged with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and became the first program to serve older adults within the agency. It has grown significantly over the years with over 400 volunteers who serve close to 1,000 older adults each year. The program works closely with the APPRISE medicare counseling program, another volunteer-supported program within the Older Adult Service division of Family Services. In 2014, IVC more deeply and strategically combined services with its sister program out of North Hills Community Outreach. Both programs joined together under a new name: In Service of Seniors. This change allows the program to hold strong to its original roots within the faith-based community while expaninding to develop more efficient operations and connections across the county.
Because we believe that every older adult benefits from a caring relationship with others, the mission of the In Service of Seniors program is “to maximize Pittsburgh-area seniors' independence through volunteer-based practical supports.”
Who is Eligible for Services
Allegheny County residents aged 60 or older qualify for free help from In Service of Seniors, regardless of income or religious affiliation.