What is Befriending?

Befriending is a friendship between a Volunteer and an Older Person which operates within a supported framework. The Volunteer undertakes to visit the person’s home for an hour or two once a week. This enables both the older person to widen their social network, increase independence and make informed choices about supports they may need from their wider community.

What benefit is such a friendship?

Through the friendship, many of our older people are benefitting from an approved quality of life and increased social input through activities and supports offered by the Contact Organisation.

Who is the Befriending Service for?

Anyone who is over 65 and living alone and may be experiencing the following:

  •  If you are feeling isolated
  • You are alone on a particular day of the week and would like some company and a chat
  • If you need help to access community services
  • If you are experiencing loneliness due to bereavement
  • If you are experiencing loneliness due to loss of independence for health reasons and are confined to bed at home.

Who are our Volunteers?

Volunteers are members of the Public who have offered their time to Kilkenny & Carlow Contact. People of all ages and from all walks of life become volunteers. What they have in common is a liking and respect for Older People and a willingness to make a long term commitment. Volunteers are carefully selected, training and references are taken up and Garda vetting is received for all our Volunteers.

How does the service work?

We try to make sure the befriender lives near to the older person and that they have similar interests .The organiser of the friendship visits the older person to match them carefully with a volunteer.

What happens if we are not compatible or problems arise?

Because a friendship is organised by a support worker they will be on hand to discreetly sort out any problems which may arise. Do not worry.

Dementia Befriending

We are currently developing a Dementia Befriending Service as an addition to our main befriending Service, to any Older People over 65 who may be developing memory problems, confusion or have been diagnosed with early dementia.

The Dementia befriending service is for people who are over 65’s, with dementia and who may have little or no contact with other services or support from other sources. These are often the Older People in our community who can become isolated and forgotten.

Regular one-to-one visits from a volunteer can help to support individuals living with dementia: to make use of their skills; to take initiative by suggesting ideas for activities or topics of conversation; and to feel that they still have something to contribute to their community.