What is Papa? What does Papa do?
Who Are Papa Pals?
Papa Pals are individuals with energy, enthusiasm, and interest in caregiver jobs where they can make a difference in the lives of others. Some Papa Pals are college students who need to earn money to support themselves while they earn a degree. Others may be parents of small children who want to supplement their family income. Some are interested in a career in caregiving—for example, they want careers in social work or nursing. Others are looking for the chance to give back to their community by helping those who may need a bit of extra care. All Papa Pals are carefully screened to determine if they are a good fit for the Papa community.
What kind of help can a Papa Pal provide?
Papa Pals can help members in many ways. They can drive them to doctor's appointments, allowing other family members to stay focused on their work during the day. Papa Pals can give a helping hand to the member at the grocery store or the pharmacy. If the older adult in the family needs a haircut or a manicure, their Papa Pal can take them for a bit of pampering and self-care. Papa Pals can take their pals to the library, for a walk in the park, or to a café for a cup of coffee and a cookie or two. Papa Pals can also help members around the house with laundry, light cleaning, and meal prep, as well as other household tasks. Anything that a family member would do, a Papa Pal can do.
What else can Papa Pals do with the members?
Being a Papa Pal is not just about getting things done. Papa Pals are also available for companionship. Loneliness is a big problem for older adults in the United States, and has only increased since the Covid-19 pandemic. Isolation and lack of human interaction can lead to unhealthy habits and an increase in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's. Families busy with work, children, and managing their own day-to-day lives may find it hard to carve out time to spend with an aging parent or other family members. A Papa Pal can step in and spend time playing cards, watching TV, doing a jigsaw puzzle, and chatting about current events.
Why become a Papa Pal?
Listening, engaging, and responding to what their senior companions are saying is a big part of a Papa Pal's job. Making sure the older adult they are paired with feels connected to others and respected as a human being could be the most essential aspect of what a Papa Pal provides. Being a Papa Pal is not just about helping someone with daily tasks—it's about making them feel part of the world beyond their front door. Papa Pals get a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when they develop a relationship with their companions. Many part-time jobs are available in industries like food service, retail, or working for delivery services. All of these are worthwhile, but being a Papa Pal has the added perk of making someone's life better through personal connection and care.
How to join Papa
If helping an older adult around the house with food prep, light housekeeping, taking a drive to do a few errands or simply spending some time with someone who will appreciate your attention sounds like a good job, apply to become a Papa Pal. The time spent with someone who appreciates you and what you do for them will be enriching for you, too. Once you're accepted as a Papa Pal, you'll have the opportunity to work as often as you are able. Being a Papa Pal is rewarding in so many ways.