New In-Home Counseling Program for Seniors
Pennock Center for Counseling has launched a Senior Peer Counseling Program to address the counseling needs of seniors who may be somewhat isolated or need a listening ear. This no cost program uses screened, trained and supervised volunteers, ages 55 and older, who are matched with seniors in Brighton and surrounding areas. Many seniors face challenges with adjustment to retirement, adjustment to physical limitations, grief, loss of loved ones, loss of independence and declining health. Depression, anxiety and loneliness are common in seniors, yet do not have to be a part of the aging process. Pennock Center’s peer counselors meet weekly with seniors at their homes, skilled nursing facilities or assisted living centers. Peer counselors need no specific educational background, but use their life experience, compassion and listening skills to help senior clients navigate these challenges.
Senior Peer Counseling offers seniors, ages 55 and older, a confidential, caring relationship with a trained peer counselor. Talking about challenges and concerns with a caring peer counselor can make all the difference in the world. Peer counselors are trained in basic counseling skills and use their life experiences to offer assistance to others. Seniors referred will be screened to ensure that they are appropriate for the program. There is no cost for this program.
Pennock Center for Counseling conducted a community needs assessment to gain community input regarding the needs of seniors in our community. Feedback received was overwhelmingly positive and pointed to the need for outreach services offering counseling to seniors in their homes, especially for isolated seniors. Growing older can be difficult. Many seniors face challenges related to aging and would benefit from contact with caring individuals who can meet with them weekly to provide support, a listening ear and guidance as appropriate. Seniors face challenges with depression, anxiety, grief, loss of independence, adjustment problems, family problems, isolation and loneliness. These challenges can be ameliorated with the help of a peer counselor who can relate to other seniors and use their life experiences, wisdom and compassion to offer support.
Depression can be common in the senior population yet it is not a normal part of aging. Depression can co-occur with other serious illnesses often experienced by seniors, such as; heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Grief and loss is also a common experience for seniors and may lead to periods of depression and/or anxiety.
Depression can also be worsened by isolation and lack of support. Like depression, anxiety is often thought to be a normal experience given the circumstances of aging. But developing an anxiety disorder late in life is not a normal part of aging.
Please contact Jody Pierce at 303-655-9065, Ext. 9, for additional information or to refer a senior in need.
Pennock Center for Counseling is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Brighton providing compassionate mental health services based on a foundation of hope and change. The center provides affordable mental health care to all ages. Also find out more about Pennock Center for Counseling at www.pennockcounseling.org.