Institute of Gerontology

Activities and Accomplishments


The Mission of the Senior Companion/Respite Aide programs is for seniors tohelp other seniors through volunteerism. The Senior Companion/Respite Aide Programs preserve the independence of District of Columbia residents. Our programs support low income and disabled older persons 55 years and older with high quality and compassionate volunteer service.


The Senior Companion/Respite Aide Vision is to improve the lives of the seniors who are in need of assistants to maintain living in their homes and communities so that they do not become institutionalized.

Core Values:


Program Overview:

Senior Tuition Program: Tuition and fees normally required for students will be waived for qualifying senior citizen, 65 years of age or older and a resident of the District of Columbia on space availability.  Senior 65 years of age or older who wish to obtain a degree will pay half of the tuition and fee set for students within their category.  All applicants must first be admitted to the University.  Courses are held at the Community College and the University.

The Bodywise Health and Fitness Program is a free program designed to promote health, wellness, and fitness for DC residents 60 years of age and older.  Some of the benefits which may be achieved include: an increase in participants’ cardiovascular efficiency, improved muscular strength and flexibility, and increased knowledge of physical activity.  The BODYWISE program consists of water aerobics, yoga, low-impact aerobics, and movement/chair exercise.  Classes are conducted by certified instructors.

Click here for the Bodywise class schedule.

Click here for the Bodywise application.

The Senior Companion Program touches the lives of adults who need extra assistance to live independently in their homes and communities.  The program serves frail older adults, adults with disabilities, and those with terminal illness.  Senior Companions assist their adult clients in basic, but essential ways: by offering companionship and friendship to isolated older adults, assisting with simple chores, providing transportation, and adding richness to their client lives.

The Respite Aide Program provides in-home assistance to seniors living alone. The program also provides support to caregivers.  This service helps the individual and/or families deal with the challenges of living independently in older adulthood.