This is a volunteer outreach service designed to help combat the
social isolation that may affect people living with MS in long
term care homes. In many cases, because of the progression of
their disease, people affected by MS are living in an environment
designed for much older people.
The MS Society identifies and partners with long-term care homes that have residents living with multiple sclerosis and provides education and information about the program to both residents and staff. Residents with MS are then matched with a volunteer provided by the MS Society, who visits the resident on a regular basis. Please note at this time we are only able to provide virtual visits such as through video chats, phone calls, email, and/or letters/cards due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Connecting with the MS Society and a Friendly Visiting volunteer helps reduce social isolation. Individuals with MS who receive friendly visits from volunteers report they “feel less institutionalized”, “feel more supported”, “feel less socially isolated”, “have a more positive outlook”, and are “more interested in participating in other activities.”
“Residents are now able to socialize, interact and form a meaningful relationship with another individual. This enables them to feel appreciated, have their voices, thoughts and feelings heard, and brings the outside world in. When a volunteer is coming it brightens the resident’s day and gives them something other than sadness and loneliness to look forward to. To see the happiness and acceptance in the faces of the people who are receiving visits, you know that the program is providing something special.”
- Long Term Care Home Staff
To inquire about Friendly Visiting opportunities in your area either as a participant or as a volunteer, please contact the MS Knowledge Network.