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Process for getting matched to a retirement home

What does getting matched to a retirement home mean? 

At Seniors With Skills, our online matching service is a free service where we match people of all ages who want to volunteer to a retirement home near them where they can volunteer. If a retirement home near you is not listed on our website, one of our matching coordinators will find you a place to volunteer! The detailed steps for getting matched to a retirement home are listed below:

Step 1: Primary Application Form


The first step is to fill in our online Volunteer Application form at


This application is a quick way for us to know who you are, which location you would like to be matched to a retirement home, and why you are interested in volunteering. We appreciate prospective volunteers who take the time to write detailed responses for the “Why do you want to volunteer” and “Why will you be a committed volunteer questions”. Please note, the main mode of contact for ALL Seniors With Skills communications is through EMAIL.


Step 2: Secondary Application Form (will be sent through email after completion of primary form)


The purpose of the secondary application form is to provide volunteers an opportunity to tell us more about what skills they have to offer and why they think Seniors With Skills volunteering would be a good fit! It is also a good way for us to see that you are able to communicate with us through email.


Step 3: Application gets moved to the volunteering coordinator

At this point, you should get an email from us introducing you to one of our matching coordinators who will help you find a retirement home to volunteer at.

Estimated wait time: 1-2 days for the application to be sent to a matching coordinator


Step 4: Matching Process

The matching process to a retirement home can be difficult and time consuming. Our matching coordinator has to research homes near your location, and set up an opportunity with the activities director at the retirement home.  This process can take up to several weeks as it can be very difficult to get in touch with the activities director who is often bustling between activities!


What actually happens during the matching process?

First, the matching coordinator will research 3-4 locations near to the address listed in the primary application. After this, the matching coordinator will start contacting these locations through both phone and email – the process of reaching one coordinator can take a long time. Some retirement homes may not be accepting new volunteers as well which can delay the process. If one of our matching coordinators is unable to reach a retirement home coordinator, after a while, they may suggest you physically visit the retirement home if you want to get matched faster!



Estimated wait time: 3 days – 3 weeks depending on how difficult it is to reach the matching coordinator in your area. Also, if you are willing to physically visit a retirement home this can move up the process.


Step 5: Getting started with volunteering

A completed match to us means that you are now in contact with the activities director at the retirement home and you are setting up your first opportunity. The volunteer department at the retirement home will likely have another screening process which will consist of a TB test and police check, so getting these items ready beforehand can help move things even more quickly.



Step 6: Implementing the process at the retirement home

Once you are matched to the retirement home, it is your decision to either implement one of Seniors With Skills’ existing programs or your own original idea. The 2 programs  from Seniors With Skills are the Cards and Knitting Program and the Computer Training program and more information can be found at if you want to learn more about these programs. Retirement homes often have bingo, jeopardy and musical programs if you want to join one of their volunteer programs. If you are interested in starting your own program, feel free to bring this up to activities director at the retirement home or let a Seniors With Skills matching coordinator know. Some examples of past programs volunteers have run include origami and yoga.


Step 7: Start volunteering and keep in touch with Seniors With Skills!

Now that you have been matched to the retirement home, finished the requirements to start volunteering and decided what program you want to implement, it is time to start volunteering! Seniors With Skills will keep in touch with you the first few weeks to see how your placement is going. We will continue to follow-up monthly, and then once every few months. We love seeing your photos and hearing your volunteer stories, so please keep us in the loop!

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