Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Giving Back

AARP Foundation

Help AARP Foundation win back opportunity for struggling Americans age 50 and over. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar spent goes directly to life-changing programs and services. Do



Senior Companions: a Perfect Match

Program pairs older volunteers and people in need of assistance

"I've lost any number of them," Barth says sadly, recalling clients who have died. A favorite was a woman who walked about her 17-floor apartment house bent over at a 90-degree angle: "She was always in such pain, but she kept her sense of humor. She used to say she knew everybody in the building — by their shoes."

Headquarters for the 113 Senior Companions in New York is the East Side Settlement House. That's where they receive pre-service and in-service training and where they meet regularly with social workers to review their cases. The training covers such topics as tolerance, home safety, advance directives and paying attention to clients' body language. The classes are intended to help the Companions better deal with their own aging issues as well as prepare them for serving others.

Companions who satisfy income eligibility standards are paid $2.65 an hour. On a national level, there are 14,500 Companions in every state serving 61,000 clients. In most locations around the country, there is a waiting list of people who need to be served.

When Barth and Kenney sit on the park bench, they make an unlikely pair — Barth a hefty bear of a man, Kenney a slim ex-marathoner. "We talk," Kenney says. "We check out the squirrels, who come right up to us and beg. Together we watch the trees come into full bloom, the seasons change. You know, Roger has been wonderful to me and for me."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discount & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Anna's Linens

Member save 10% every day at Anna's Linens and

Faanui Bay, as seen from beach on Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Members save up to $525 on vacations at AARP® Travel Center powered by Expedia®

Pepperoni Pizza, Papa Johns Superbowl promotion for AARP members

Members save 25% off regular price menu items at Papa John's

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Community Volunteers

Honor Our Soldiers

Stop by to recognize those who have served our country, past and present. Discuss