The ElderServe program sponsored by the Elrod Center is designed to connect OBU students with senior adults in the Arkadelphia community. The ElderServe student forms a friendship with a senior adult over the course of a college semester. The student and senior adult meet once a week, mainly just to visit. These relationships are mutually beneficial. The senior adult greatly benefits from the youth, energy and friendship of the student and the student is given the opportunity to serve and make a difference in the life of the senior adult while gaining a new friend with valuable life experience.
The ElderServe students also function as a team each month to carry out service projects in area nursing homes and senior adult housing complexes. For more information contact Judy Duvall at 870-245-5320 or email at email@example.com.
ElderServe is designed to establish a bridge of care between Ouachita students and older senior adults of the Arkadelphia community. Judy Duvall, ElderServe coordinator, sees a need for this connection. “The senior adults in our community need the energy and joy young people can share with them, and the young people need the insight and wisdom from the life experiences of this older generation. The relationships formed are mutually beneficial.”
ElderServe works closely with nursing homes, churches and local agencies to identify those senior adults who could benefit from a relationship with a student. The student is asked to commit to a friendship with a senior adult over the course of a college semester. They meet every week, mainly to just visit. The student will sometimes help with various tasks such as light cleaning, reading correspondence and even washing a dog. Each relationship is unique and is guided by the needs that become apparent as the friendship develops. In most cases, a genuine friendship is formed between the student and senior adult.
The team of ElderServe volunteers is composed of males and females who are from all disciplines of study on Ouachita’s campus. “A servant’s heart and a willingness to listen are all you need to be equipped to be a part of this program,” says Duvall. However, an ongoing instruction is offered throughout the year as well as meals together to form community among students.