Thursday, May 16, 2024

Older Adult Peer Support: Our Time Has Come

Government Service Center in Boston

May 17th at 2:30 pm by Robert Walker, MS, COAPS from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

Older adults and their caregivers are sometimes left out of peer support.  Peer support allows people with similar life experiences to help each other learn strategies for self-empowerment and build self-fulfilling lives. Peer support groups exist for many types of disabilities, but are less likely to serve older adults and their caregivers. 

Many think that depression, loneliness, loss of hope, and memory loss are all part of aging with a physical or mental disability. Robert Walker will describe a short-term, evidence-based model of peer support for older adults, which holds promise as a way to assist older adults in leading healthier, values-driven lives. This model has been piloted with older adults and caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's Disease.

Robert Walker works with the Massachusetts (US) Department of Mental Health in the Office of Recovery and Empowerment. His work involves both researching peer interventions and training peer specialists. He is interested in the behavioral health issues experienced by older adults.

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