Great Neighbors is a program of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter created to build neighborly friendships between older adults (Neighbors) and individuals living nearby (Friendly Neighbors).
Through the secure website www.great-neighbors.org Friendly Neighbors and Neighbors create online profiles to keep in touch, and coordinate interactions to help ensure the older adults are actively included in community life. Neighbors (the older adults) do not need to create an online profile or use the internet; a Friendly Neighbor or Community Ambassador will help them create a profile.
Great Neighbors promotes socializing, strengthens community, and places older adults at the heart of neighborhood life.
Friendly Neighbors adhere to the philosophy of the Great Neighbors project – the unique and irreplaceable value of each person irrespective of age, origin, gender, ideology, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and physical, mental, or social status.
The community is composed of:
– Neighbor: individual typically 70 or older who would like to be more connected to their neighborhood and have friendly visitors. (60 & older in some neighborhoods)
– Friendly Neighbor: individual 18 and older prompting friendly interactions with older adults to help prevent isolation and loneliness.
– Community Ambassador: an individual who helps to coordinate the Friendly Neighbors and Neighbors to infuse the neighborhood with social interactions. This individual is trained on the website and orientation process to welcome new Friendly Neighbors and Neighbors and encourage activity.
– Great Neighbors Administrator: a staff member of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter who oversees the project, welcomes all participants, trains participants, provides tech support, and promotes an inclusive and safe community.
Great Neighbors website and in-person interactions
Upon completing a background check and on-line profile a Friendly Neighbor will be connected to one or more older adults Neighbors by their Community Ambassador or the Great Neighbors administrator. Once connected it is assumed that the Friendly Neighbors intend to interact with their older adult Neighbor(s) and share activities with other Friendly Neighbors in the group using the forum and calendar on the website.
1. Friendly Neighbors must respect the private space of their Neighbor(s) and other Friendly Neighbors. Never arrive unannounced to his/her home. Remember you are a friend; not a family member or case worker.
2. On the website always be aware of what you write or images you post. Be discreet about information shared with you and things you observe. Ensure that confidential information is kept safe. You should not say or post information without your Neighbor’s knowledge.
3. Friendly Neighbors should alert their neighborhood members if there are any situations where their Neighbor’s health or property is in jeopardy. In addition, if the Neighbor is