NEIGHBORS NETWORK – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What is Neighbors Network?

NN is a self-governing, member-driven, nonprofit organization designed for active older adults, providing volunteer services and social opportunities that add to the quality of our lives. The assistance of volunteers and community partners, and the availability of screened professional service providers, enhances our mission: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Stay Independent, Active, Connected.

Who developed this idea?

Beacon Hill Village in Boston was the first village model organization in 2001. Now there are 200 operating villages across the country with several hundred in the planning stage. Most villages have members age 55+ and most have a defined geographic area.

Who are our members?

Adults who want to stay in their own homes, condos or apartments as they grow older and who value the connection to a support network for both the practical tasks of keeping a home, as well as their social needs. Our geographic area is Winter Park, Maitland, and nearby neighborhoods, including Fern Park, Casselberry, Rowena Gardens, Baldwin Park, Altamonte Springs (south of Rt 436) including Spring Valley and Spring Lake Hills, also Orwin Manor, Rose Isle, & Winter Pines. All of zip codes 32789, 32792, 32751. College Park (32804) has been added & will be in full service in January 2017.

Who are the volunteers?

Many of our vounteers are also members; some are young people with a commitment to volunteer service; others are local adults who support their community. Volunteers provide direct assistance to our members and also to the organization through office support and community outreach. All volunteers who work with our members have passed a background check and all drivers have passed a Motor Vehicle Operator Check.

What kind of services are provided?

Typical volunteer tasks include things like: organizing paperwork, rides to medical appointments, assistance with moving items in the home, computer and other technology help, seasonal yard help, basic household tasks and repairs, closet reorganizing, reading to a member whose vision has diminished, bringing unwanted items to donation center or books to the library, driving and assisting with grocery shopping, friendly phone calls or visits, and much more.

What is a “vetted” service?

These are services that generally would not be provided by a volunteer – specialized tasks like carpet cleaning, appliance repair, removing a tree – providers of these kinds of services will be checked out (vetted) by Neighbors Network before being recommended as providers. Members can select from a list of these vetted providers, and then contract with and pay for services directly with their chosen service providers.

Who are our Affinity Partners?

Neighbors Network supports effective community service providers rather than duplicating efforts. Our selected Affinity Partners include: Caregiver Central (a web-based assessment and referral tool provided by Share the Care, Inc. that is a gateway to vetted health and home care services); Our Whole Community (a faith-based health and education ministry providing wellness and exercise classes; Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning (providing short courses on a great variety of topics specifically for older adults).

What is the Neighbors Network membership fee?

Members pay an annual fee of $375 per person or $500 per household. Membership fees may be paid annually or quarterly. Reduced fee membership grants (scholarships) may be available based on eligibility. A short Member Application is available HERE. A home visit by a Neighbors Network Ambassador (an experienced volunteer) provides an opportunity for further questions and information exchange. Contact Neighbors Network at 321-209-2775 with questions or to have an application mailed. There is a 20% discount for new members paying annually ($300/400).

Is a Neighbors Network membership tax deductible?

Membership is not tax deductible since services and benefits are received by members. Donations are most welcome and are fully tax deductible; Neighbors Network is a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the State of Florida.

How many are included in a household membership?

A household may include up to three persons who are 55 and older. For special family circumstances, contact Neighbors Network to discuss options.

If a member volunteers does it reduce his/her membership fee?

“Neighbor Helping Neighbor” is an important value at Neighbors Network. While there is no requirement to volunteer, and members receive the same benefits whether they volunteer or not, members are always welcome to volunteer in some way. Volunteer hours are tracked, and volunteers are recognized at an annual Volunteer Appreciation event for the time, effort and expertise they have contributed. However, volunteer hours do not convert to a dollar value.

How do I know the volunteers and service providers entering my home are trustworthy?

All Neighbors Network volunteers must pass a background check; volunteer drivers also must pass a driving background check and provide proof of insurance. Our volunteers are people we know; they are an important part of the Neighbors Network community and many are members of Neighbors Network themselves. A Volunteer application can be found HERE.

Are ride services included in my Neighbors Network membership?

Ride services are included for members whose needs require assistance with grocery shopping, medical appointments and other ride services. Volunteer carpools are arranged for members to attend social activities.

Is in-home supportive care included in my Neighbors Network membership?

Neighbors Network is not a healthcare provider. Members have access to the online assessment tool, www.caregivercentral.org provided to our local community through our partner Share the Care. This caregiver self-assessment provides the user with a personalized menu of local community service providers specifically generated by the assessment information. Information about six categories of services are available home care, home-delivered meals, home medical equipment, care management, assisted living, and adult day care. Members can select from their list of vetted service providers, and then contract with and pay for services directly with their chosen service providers.