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ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD COMPANIONS, INC.

Neighborhood Companions, Inc. is a non-profit organization located in Baltimore County, Maryland that provides volunteer transportation and companion services to individuals aged 60 years and older. Our vision is to help older adults live independently, feel safe, valued, and loved. Click here to learn more about our services.

OUR MISSION & HISTORY

Neighborhood Companions was founded by Arkia Wade. During the pandemic, Wade had co-led a “Turner Station Adopt a Senior" program. It was when the older adult she’d met through the program asked for a ride to the doctor’s office that Wade realized the need for reliable transportation and companionship for seniors in Baltimore County. African American older adults in Baltimore County experience elevated isolation rates, loneliness, depression, and early onset dementia. Neighborhood Companions works to mitigate these outcomes by providing both comradery and services such as rides to social, medical, educational, or shopping trips. Recruitment of volunteers will occur through word of mouth, AmeriCorps, posting on Volunteermatch.org and businessvolunteersmd.org, volunteer recruitment fairs, announcements in churches, flyers and brochures placed throughout strategic locations like colleges, civic organizations and senior centers, caregiver referrals, and this website. 

 

Neighborhood Companions aims to provide a comprehensive intervention by providing tangible support. In addition to transportation, companions and older adults share pastimes such as having a meal, doing a puzzle, going for a walk, playing cards, or providing a break for family caregivers. Community is a preventative factor against the research-based outcomes associated with isolation including heart disease, depression, and other mental and physical health concerns. Fostering cross-generational friendships is an important step in building this sort of community. 

 

When Arkia Wade received a phone call from a senior woman in her community asking her for a ride to her doctor’s appointment, Wade did not hesitate to say “yes”. After dropping the woman off to see her cardiologist, Wade witnessed just how appreciative she was for such a simple gesture, especially since the woman had canceled her appointment three times due to inability to get there on her own. This interaction left Wade on one hand happy that she could do a kind deed, but on the other concerned, wondering how many more seniors that are out there have no way to get to their appointments or even other places like grocery stores. Based on this experience, Neighborhood Companions, Inc. (NCI) was created.

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