Senior Peer Counseling
Senior Peer Counselors are women and men 55 years and older who are trained to provide counseling for seniors in their own homes. This program utilizes the skills and life experiences of older adults to provide emotional support to their peers. It gives seniors an opportunity to talk with someone their own age who has experienced similar life changes and can understand their concerns. Some of the feelings that come out as we grow older may be anxiety, depression, isolation, loneliness, grief and loss. The trained counselor can provide support during these changes and help seniors set goals and develop plans to cope with life changes. The visits are confidential.
During 2013, seven volunteer counselors provided 343 home visits to twenty seniors. Patti Ridella, R.N., provides training and ongoing supervision of the peer counselors. This program is funded by Mendocino County Human Services through the Mental Health Services Act.
Seniors who are struggling with a loss, declining health, or no longer have the will to carry on might want to consider trying a one-on-one counseling session. This specialized service provides a non-confrontational way to express feelings with someone their own age and get suggestions on ways to deal with specific concerns. Often times, just a friendly ear and supportive feedback does wonders to boost someone’s day and give them hope.
If you are interested in becoming a Senior Peer Counselor, or if you know someone who might benefit from counseling, please contact Patti Ridella, R.N., (530 )368-6176 SPC@ukiahseniorcenter.org
Download the Senior Peer Counselor brochure