Volunteer Services

Elder Visiting: VISA Program

St. Michael’s is home to a special seniors visiting program called “Volunteers Involving Seniors in Activities” or VISA.

The overall goal of the VISA program is the reduction of delirium in older adult patients during their hospital stay. Some seniors will become confused and disoriented during an extended hospitalization. This is called delirium. Delirium is a short-term state of confusion (it is not the same as dementia), but it does cause the patient to have trouble paying attention, mix up days and nights, drift between sleep and awake, be forgetful or have trouble remembering where they are.

A volunteer chats bedside with an elderly woman To help reduce this delirium state, the health-care team will support the patient in many ways, and one of the most important ways is to schedule an engagement visit from a specially trained VISA volunteer.

The focus of these bedside visits is a variety of “engagement activities” such as memory and reminiscence; socialization; leisure activities or games and orientation to time and place in order to reduce the effects of delirium. Volunteers help to keep the patients focused and lessen their confusion. Volunteers will visit with only two-three patients per shift to maximize the engagement activities.

How do I get started?
Please complete the volunteer application (application, resume and references) and note VISA on the second page of the form.