Senior Peer Counseling Program
A Good Idea
The Senior Peer Counseling Program utilizes Intensively trained volunteer counselors, age 55 or above, to support distressed older adults in a three-county area. These counselors act as mentors, coaches, and advocates, often drawing from their own life experience to help the persons they serve to cope with life changes, to experience personal growth, and to improve quality of life. Counselors visit clients in their own homes or in alternative living environments (including nursing homes), usually for an hour a week; "supportive mentoring" may include close consultation on such challenges as depression, loss, loneliness, substance abuse, retirement "shock," grief, and adjustment needs arising from relocation or physical decline. The program also maintains a resource center providing books, educational videotapes, professional journals, and article reprints.
Goal / Mission
The mentoring process is designed to help clients work through feelings and emotions, to recognize strengths and coping skills, and to redirect life toward greater meaning and purpose.
Results / Accomplishments
In 2001, the program averaged 25 referrals each month. Counselors work each year with more than 100 clients in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties. Seventy volunteers are serving in the three-county area.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- Dr. Jeff Lukehart
Coordinator, Senior Mental Health Program
Mid-Willamette Senior Services Agency
P.O. Box 12189
Salem OR 97309-0189
Health / Older Adults & Aging
Health / Mental Health & Mental Disorders
- Mid-Willamette Valley Senior Services Agency
- National Council on Aging
- Date of publication
- Salem, OR
- Target Audience