Hearts and Hands is a volunteer not-for-profit organization providing free escorted transportation, companionship, and in-home supports for older and/or physically challenged adults living in urban, rural, and suburban communities throughout Erie and Eastern Niagara Counties. Care recipients are often people who stopped driving due to age-related medical conditions or financial reasons. Recipients may also need assistance at home with light housekeeping or yardwork, or a couple hours of companionship to renew and refresh their caregiver.
Perhaps the single most pressing need of many care recipients is one of friendly human interaction. According to AARP, socially isolated people have higher risks for cardiovascular disease, infections, hypertension, and premature cognitive decline. Having social connections reduces the risk of early death by 50 percent. Social isolation is as bad for one's health as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Our elderly neighbors are often lonely and isolated. Hearts and Hands' volunteers may be the only people our care receivers see during a week and their presence and conversation is, in and of itself, a bright spot in their life.
Hearts and Hands is a best efforts program. Services are provided by volunteers who give of their time as they have it available. Services are provided at no cost to the care receiver.