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Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County

Virtual Respite Volunteer

Application Deadline

June 19, 2020

Last updated on this site:

May 29, 2020


seniors, community support

Volunteer Description

The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (DSORC) is pleased to be developing virtual solutions in an effort to continue providing support to caregivers and persons living with dementia while we are not able to do so in person.

We are currently seeking applications from tech-savvy volunteers interested in meeting remotely with caregivers. Volunteers in this role will provide caregiver respite through virtual “visits” to persons living with dementia. Visits will be tailored to each individual’s interests/hobbies, and could take the form of simple chatting, to sessions with curated information based on personal interest (for example, if a participant really enjoys fishing, photos and stories, the friendly visitor could prepare a plan to screen share photos and read stories and elicit conversation). Other sessions could be around music reminiscence, singing, etc.

Virtual Visits may take place on a variety of different platforms depending on personal preference and technical capability of the client, and may include telephone, Zoom, Facetime, or another mutually agreed upon technology. If there is interest for a group session, there is the possibility to discuss offering additional volunteer support in leading a group session.

Contact Organization

Application Method

Interested applicants should submit their CV and a cover letter describing their interest to

Key Position Responsibilities

- Maintain regular communication via e-mail and telephone
- Work with DSORC staff to arrange a mutually agreed upon Virtual Visit client and discuss potential activities to suit the needs of the client
- Communicate with caregiver as needed to arrange the details surrounding individual visits (date and time, materials needed, etc.)
- Maintain communication with Supervisor to provide updates on clients, forward questions, and offer feedback/discuss plans for future visits
- Prepare and host Virtual Visit materials as needed
- Ensure you are comfortable using the technology best suited for your visit
- Coordinate and prepare any particular items needed for your visit (photos, music, videos, a list of the client’s interest, etc.)
- Caregivers will be able to schedule Virtual Respite for periods of a minimum period 30 minutes to a maximum of 2hrs.
- Meet and engage with client on the preferred platform (phone, Zoom, etc.)
- Respond to inquiries from caregivers and persons living with dementia
- Provide troubleshooting support to those experiencing technical difficulty
- Coordinate questions for providing to your Supervisor following the visits
- Engage with participants and maintain enthusiasm, compassion, and patience

Qualifications and Requirements

- Tech-savvy, with the ability to independently troubleshoot common/minor technical issues such as audio/visual connectivity disruptions
- Access to a computer with reliable access to both internet and email
- Knowledge of/experience with Zoom or other online platforms is an asset
- Patience and compassion when working with others who are not tech-savvy
- Professionalism and a positive disposition with excellent interpersonal skills
- Compassion, understanding and awareness of dementia
- Experience working with persons with dementia and their care partners
- A valid (within last 6 months) Vulnerable Sector Check is required for this role
- Reliability – able to honour scheduled commitments
- Discretion - must maintain confidentiality of all participants
- Bilingualism an asset
- Basic knowledge of DSORC programs and services (training provided)


Successful applicants will submit a volunteer application form. An interview and reference checks will be conducted as part of the application process with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Successful applicants will be provided with Orientation Training in addition to role-specific training from their supervisor.

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