Creating the “Super” Volunteer: Expanding the Role of Volunteers

Start time
10:00 AM Pacific
End time
11:00 AM Pacific

Presented by ASA’s Lifetime Education and Renewal Network (LEARN) 

ASA Members: Register now for FREE

Not a Member? Join ASA or Register for this event for $49

Includes complimentary CEUs

This web seminar presents examples of long-term-care (LTC) providers who screen and train people to provide non-medical staff support, including personal care, for residents. Such “super” volunteers have a commitment to serving elders. Also, this session presents research indicating that volunteers can be and want to be trained to support professional care staff—a paradigm shift in the way we view and use volunteers.

Recent reports project 1.2 million vacancies in LTC staffing by 2022. While efforts to develop new long-term services and supports are in progress, adequate staffing will remain a serious challenge. Lack of labor availability will have a deleterious impact on the quality of care, particularly in rural LTC settings. Every potential resource should be explored. One viable resource is a trained volunteer force to free nursing staff from non-technical tasks that may delay them in meeting residents’ more complex technical nursing care needs.

Our cities and towns are home to caring, giving and compassionate people who also possess a passion for helping older adults. These people may be successful in their careers and looking to give back to their communities in meaningful ways. Or they may be nearing retirement and seeking opportunities to remain engaged by applying their current set of skills or learning new skills. Through proper screening and quality training, these people become a “super” volunteer force that alleviates some pressures on the staff while offering personalized care for older adults, thereby becoming a valuable asset to professional nursing home staff.

Participants in this web seminar will be able to:

  • List and discuss four examples of LTC providers who are training and using volunteers in staff support roles;
  • Summarize results of current research that supports the use of volunteers in staff support roles and the cost benefit to LTC providers;
  • Identify and explain five challenges to expanding the role of volunteers in LTC; and,
  • Recommend opportunities for overcoming the five challenges for expanding the volunteer role.


Dr. Paul FalkowskiDr. Paul Falkowski is the president and founder of Community 360° and adjunct professor for the University of Nebraska, Department of Gerontology. Falkowski is an advocate for discovering volunteers as a work-ready resource to provide meaningful staff support to enhance the quality of life for people living in nursing homes.