Our Senior Peer Counselors (SPC), a diverse and inclusive group of volunteers, show compassion for our community members ages 55+ who request peer counseling. This group of specially-trained volunteer counselors provide weekly one-on-one visits or facilitate a support group for older adults. The counseling helps older adults manage transitions and life changes including health concerns, mobility issues, caregiver needs, loss, and grief. All counselors have completed over thirty-six hours of training to learn active listening skills; recognize and respond to grief, depression, and anxiety; and to work with diverse cultures. They also attend ongoing clinical supervision sessions for in-depth learning, or to share a particularly difficult or moving situation a volunteer counselor has encountered with a participant.
Our Senior Peer Counselor program has been operating for more than thirty years, and the dedicated volunteer counselors have deep connections to our diverse community in San Mateo County. The counselors are paired with participants who might share similar life experiences and perspectives that will build lasting relationships. Our program offers services to participants in a variety of languages including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog, and to our LGBTQ+ community.
An emerging need is appearing within the LGBTQ+ community, where adults ages 55+ may be more at risk for isolation, neglect, and discrimination. The stigma and discrimination many adults have faced over time continues, leading to a delay in seeking care until their health deteriorates. We have partnered with the San Mateo County Pride Center to break down stigmas and serve our LGBTQ+ community. Our partnership develops a deep sense of community and belonging with a variety of social activities including movies, lunches, support groups, and creative projects. Resources and workshops are also offered for housing, healthcare, employment, and Senior Peer Counseling.
To become a Senior Peer Counselor contact Ann Blick Hamer, Director of Senior Peer Counseling, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 650.403.4300 x4322.
To learn about the partnership with San Mateo County Pride Center contact Ellyn Bloomfield, LGBTQ+ Senior Peer Counseling Coordinator, email@example.com, or call 650.403.4300 x4383.
Learn more about our program and upcoming training dates for Fall 2019: https://www.peninsulafamilyservice.org/our-programs/older-adult-services/seniorpeercounseling/