Navigating our advancing years can be challenging, even for those with a strong support network. Now, imagine crossing those same waters alone, without friends or family to turn to for support. Our Senior Peer Counseling program works to ensure no one faces the challenges of aging alone. Specially-trained volunteer counselors provide weekly visits to adults age 55+ to help manage transitions and life changes such as health concerns, mobility issues, caregiver needs, and grief. Special care is taken to connect participants with someone who shares similar life-experiences and perspectives, with programs offered in languages such as English, Mandarin, Spanish, and Tagalog, and to participants who identify as LGBTQ+.

How does it work?

After applying, participants are matched with a volunteer Peer Counselor who often shares a similar background, native language, and life experiences. Participants can choose to join a group session or request one-on-one counseling.

Individual counseling sessions take place weekly at a participant’s home or location of their choice (public park, community center, etc.). Group sessions are offered in a variety of languages in Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City, and the coastside.

Who qualifies?

Our Senior Peer Counseling program is open to adults age 55+ who live in San Mateo County and can benefit from the program.

Can I become a counselor?

To become a Senior Peer Counselor, volunteers participate in two, three and a half-hour training sessions each week for a total of five weeks. During the sessions, volunteers learn the skills they need to be active listeners, recognize and respond to grief, depression, and anxiety, and work with diverse cultures. Volunteers who speak Mandarin, Tagalog, or Spanish, or who identify as LGBTQ+, are encouraged to apply!

Prospective volunteer counselors should:

  • Be age 55+
  • Live in San Mateo County
  • Be a good listener
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be able to devote at least one hour a week to meet with a participant
  • Be able to attend monthly group supervision meetings

Volunteer applications are accepted year-round, with training sessions taking place in the Spring and in the Fall.

To become a Senior Peer Counselor, you can either fill out the Request for Application available online, or contact Geri Lustenberg via e-mail or via phone at (650) 403.43.00 Ext. 4389.

If you have any other questions, please contact Ann Blick Hamer, Senior Peer Counseling Program Manager, at 650.403.4300 ext. 4322 or by email.

Fall 2020 training dates: October – November (online only)

If you are age 55+, you can change the lives of older adults in our community.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from October 6 –  November 17
morning sessions: 9am – 12:30pm

To register, please contact Geri Lustenberg
via e-mail or call (650) 403.43.00 Ext. 4389


Senior Peer Counseling Forms

These forms are for current Senior Peer Counselors that are working with individuals. Click on the link for each form in order to see and print the document.

Participant Assessment
Loneliness Scale
Sexual Orientation Gender Identity

HIPAA Verbal Release Authorization
Consent to Receive Services
Counselor Status
Address and Phone Number Change
Case Closing

July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
October 2020
November 2020
December 2020

Referral Form
Download the Referral Form, fill it out and mail to:

Ann Blick Hamer/ Senior Peer Counseling
24 Second Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401

Call 650-403-4300 x 4322 with any questions

We welcome all without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, age, language, abilities, sexual orientation, or gender.