Guilford Cares

Covers: Guilford, VT

Start Date: 2006

Mission, Vision & Goals

It is the mission of Guilford Cares, Inc., a group of local residents, to work to create a way for our Town's vulnerable residents to remain independent at home for as long as possible. We believe that a local network of community support can fill some of the existing gaps in services.

Broad Overview

Guilford Cares is a volunteer powered non-profit organization offering Guilford residents a variety of health care and wellness support services.

Guilford Cares enables the elderly, disabled and other vulnerable Guilford residents to receive vital medical and social services while remaining in their homes and communities.

Guilford Cares is neighbors helping neighbors.

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

We are a 501 c 3 non-profit with a formal board of directors of up to 13 members with elected officers. We have a formal set of bylaws. We meet monthly and follow Robert's Rules of Order.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

Guilford Central School
Brattleboro Area Hospice
Guilford Community Church
Gruilford Free Library

What is the role of volunteers?

Caring and Volunteers account for the success of Guilford Cares.

Guilford Cares was founded on the concept that communities thrive when neighbors help neighbors.

Guilford Cares knows it's important to match volunteers with those in need to ensure comfort, trust and friendship. We understand the responsibility of caring for our neighbors. By caring for our neighbors we build a stronger community and richer lives for ourselves and our families.

Types of funding that your initiative has received

Fundraising, Grants, and Municipal funding

Community Initiatives


Transportation for non-emergency medical needs such as health care provider appointments, medical tests,and prescription fulfillments. We also offer transportation for social services such as local shopping trips and “special outings” to public and cultural events.

Informally, We receive requests for rides by phone or word of mouth, and then find volunteers to pick up and drop off at the house. Rides are provided for doctor, pharmacy, shopping and also town events.

We prioritize transports to medical appointments, tests and treatments, as well as prescription pickups. We request 48 hour notice for these requests, although we have frequently been able to fill requests on shorter notice.

Rides for shopping, special outing, social events, senior meals, Town meeting are also important. Let us know as far ahead as you can, so we can pair a volunteer with you. Again, 48 hour notice or more is most helpful.

Home Repair & Modification

Referrals to trusted sources of workers available for home repair, odd jobs/chores, to provide respite: We maintain a list of contacts to which we refer as requests come in. We verify that they are still available and coordinate with the senior as needed. Some seniors deal directly while others need our help in arranging.

Health & Wellness

Durable Medical Equipment Loan Program
We provide durable equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, tub benches and comodes, at no charge to Guilford and surrounding town residents. We store the equipment in a volunteer's barn, receive donations and loan upon request. Recipients are encouraged to return the equipment when no longer needed. We keep a sign out and return log sheet. We advertise the program in our brochures which are distributed at doctor's offices, local businesses and municipal sites. We post periodic reminders on Front Porch Forum. We collaborate with other Cares Groups and Brattleboro Area Hospice.

Increasing Access to Health and Wellness Opportunities
A registered nurse is available to Guilford residents for home visits, assessments, consultation and case management. The nurse role includes advocacy, and referral to other social and medical services. The nurse works collaboratively and in complementary manner with physicians, hospitals, other nursing and social agencies. We work with discharge planners and Community Health Team at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and make use of programs run by Sr. Solutions – twice monthly senior lunches and Strong Living classes through attendance and announcements.

Lifeline Service
Guilford Cares has an arrangement with "Link to Life" an emergency alert service, which provides an immediate way for you to alert responders, in case of need, even if you are alone and not able to reach your phone. Guilford Cares will install the service for you, and can obtain a discounted monthly fee. We will also assist you with all the paperwork.

Social, Educational & Recreational

Informally. Volunteer coordinator calls people to offer a ride to an event. We hope to take advantage of a new recreation commission in town which hopes to offer programs for all

Food, Gardening & Cooking

Guilford Cares runs a food pantry. The executive director participates in the town's emergency response team, attending meetings and drills. We maintain a list of special needs elderly.

Family, Caregiving Support & Respite

Friendly Visitors to housebound neighbors. This program not only benefits the person receiving the visitor but it also offers family care-givers a respite from their daily obligations. The Friendly Visitor program is part of a wholistic approach to wellness and health maintenance both physically and emotionally.

Visits to our neighbors at their or their family's request, for companionship, small chores, etc. This program can also offer respite to family caregivers who need to fulfill other obligations without leaving their person alone. The program is part of a wholistic approach to wellness and health maintenance both physically and emotionally.

Accessibility & Walkability

Our community nurse of friendly visitors offer informal help identifying devices and home modifications that will make it easier and safer to age in their own home.


Word of mouth which is essential in our small town, Front Porch Forum, press releases in local newspapers, distribution of informational brochures, presence at programs run by Sr. Solutions


Home Emergency Packet with: Health Care Proxy, DNR Wishes, AND End of Life Planning
Guilford Cares has available an emergency information packet, to be kept in the home, for use by emergency responders. The packet can include basic medical information (medications, contacts, allergies, etc.) We have several trained people who are available to visit your home and assist with preparing the paperwork and packet.



Leah Gessner
Executive Director
Guilford Cares, Inc.
93 March Davis Dr., Guilford, VT 05301
[email protected]