Episode 303 - Easy Technology Solutions for Older Adult Volunteers

Sara Bumgarner, Volunteer Services Manager & RSVP Director of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of the Treasure Coast shares how her organization re-purposed use of a simple online device to help volunteers and patients stay connected during COVID.

The VNA of the Treasure Coast was founded over 40 years ago with the distinct mission of fulfilling the need to provide homecare for local residents of Indian River County, Florida.The VNA operates Hospice House, a 12-room state of the art facility privately nestled on hospital grounds, Hidden Treasures Thrift Stores to help fund hospice services, and offers private home care services which include transportation, personal care and clinical care.

The organization’s work is carried out by close to 400 clinical and administrative staff.  In addition, volunteers are at the heart of the VNA and are a key resource to the agency. More than 400 dedicated individuals generously donate their time and talent to assist in various aspects of the VNA. They interact with patients, help out at VNA Hospice House, provide assistance around the office and thrift stores.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VNA was forced to discontinue in-person volunteer roles. Instead, they implemented a virtual visit program, where volunteers could keep in touch with their patients using a virtual tablet called a GrandPad (https://www.grandpad.net/). The tool was initially developed to keep families and seniors connected through a super simple interface. The use was repurposed to connect volunteers and homebound patients.

For more information, visit VNA of the Treasure Coast - https://www.vnatc.com/.

You can connect with Sara at sbumgarner@vnatc.com.

For More:

For more info on helping older volunteers adopt new technology, check out Season 2 of the Time + Talent podcast, Episode 205: Digital Transformation as the New Normal - Moving Mentoring Online.

Guest Bio:

Sara D. Bumgarner, CVA
Volunteer Services Manager & RSVP Director
Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast

Sara has worked in the non-profit field for 28 years, the last 15 years managing volunteers. She earned her certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) credential in October of 2020.

She has been working for ten years at current organization, VNA of the Treasure Coast, six of those as the Volunteer Manager and the last two as Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Director. She currently oversees 450 volunteers for VNA, the bulk of whom are hospice volunteers.



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