Senior Peer Counseling: A Case Study

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The Aging Clinic of the Rockies (ACoR), located at Colorado State University, purpose is to assist older adults and their families improve their quality of life through mental health initiatives (Colorado State University, 2011). Moreover, ACoR uses research, evaluations, and evidence based programming to ensure that their therapeutic programs provide a high quality of care (Colorado State University, 2011). Following is an overview of the clinic’s services, a snapshot of their Senior Peer Counseling program, and a direction for possible growth. Description ACoR’s personnel include a director, a supervising psychologist, therapists, and volunteers with specialized training who act as peer counselors (Colorado State University, 2011). Specifically, ACoR offers the following services: (a) Caregiver Support Program; (b) …show more content…

Unlicensed senior screened volunteers receive training before they can provide support to their cohorts (Colorado State University, 2011). Furthermore, continued supervision, by a licensed staff member, ensures quality care (Colorado State University, 2011). The service is beneficial because research indicates that some older adults experience anxiety, isolation, as well as depression associated with grief/loss and chronic illness (Barry & Byers, 2016; Brothers, 2017; Colorado State University, 2011). In addition, the counselor may meet the service recipient in their home (Colorado State University, 2011). In fact, mental health counseling in the home reduces the transportation barrier along with any stigma the older adult may have about receiving counseling (C. Edwards, personal communication April 11, 2017). Likewise, the peer counselor benefits by participation and purposeful duties (Colorado State University, 2011). In short, the Peer Support Counseling program act as a protective factor for both seniors as it reduces isolation and promotes psychosocial

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