- Community Care Corps
Grantees Address Critical SDOH to Promote Health and Wellbeing in Their Communities
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the nonmedical conditions and environments in which people are born, grow, live, work and age that influence health. Factors like food, physical environment, social support networks and access to health care and transportation are a few examples. These factors can have major impacts on health outcomes, especially for vulnerable populations, including older adults and people with disabilities.
Community Care Corps grantees respond directly to community needs by providing various forms of assistance to support the health and well-being of older adults, adults with disabilities and family caregivers.
Below are just a few examples of SDOH that their innovative volunteer models seek to address:
Housing Living in a safe and healthy environment is critical to overall health. Interventions like healthy home environment assessments are critical to remediating environmental health risks, improving health outcomes and reducing costs. Home repairs and modifications that address functional needs and goals can improve one’s ability for self-care and enhance their quality of life.
Community Care Corps grantees tackling housing challenges implement home repairs and modifications including, improving lighting, removing trip/fall hazards, installing handrails and ramps and more. Additionally, volunteers assist with chores around the house like doing laundry, cleaning appliances, yardwork and debris removal. This assistance helps remove barriers and helps enable individuals to safely continue living in their homes.
Food and Nutrition Access to healthy foods supports healthy dietary patterns, which in turn protects against malnutrition and chronic disease. Nutrition services can lead to improved health outcomes and a reduction in health care utilization. In fact, individuals receiving home-delivered meals tend to demonstrate experience improvements in anxiety and self-rated health.
Community Care Corps volunteers assist with a variety of errands and tasks around the home. To ensure the individuals they serve have access to nutritious foods, volunteers may deliver food pantry boxes, assist with groceries and even help with meal preparation.
Transportation Transportation systems help ensure that people can reach everyday destinations safely, affordably and reliably. Many older adults and adults with disabilities miss medical appointments and outpatient procedures due to complex transportation barriers such as cost, vehicle access, distance and time burden as well as infrastructure and transportation policy.
Non-emergency medical transportation is a low-cost approach that promotes preventive and outpatient care, and helps consumers access medical care. Many Community Care Corps grantees provide chaperone assistance for medical appointments and rides to other essential destinations such as the grocery store, pharmacy and social events.
Social Support Networks
Social and community connections have a profound impact on health. Remaining socially engaged improves quality of life and is associated with better physical, mental and emotional health. Belonging to a social network allows people to feel valued and connected to community, having a powerful and protective effect on an individual’s health.
To ensure that community members benefit from connection and resources, most Community Care Corps models incorporate an element of companionship and engagement, whether it be one-on-one in-person pairings, phone group activities, or support activities. As the world continues to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19, many grantees have introduced hybrid programming to ensure as many individuals as possible are able to participate comfortably.
To learn more about ways that Community Care Corps grantees address social determinants of health through innovative models of volunteer assistance, take a look at their program summaries and read about grantee impact in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Grantee Snapshots publications.