Research made by the Jewish Seniors’ Alliance of Greater Vancouver (JSA) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver have identified an essential need for affordable and accessible Peer Support Services for Jewish seniors.
Based on these findings, JSA initiated several supportive yet distinct peer services for seniors all of which rest on the premises of self empowerment, volunteerism and Seniors Helping Seniors.
CERTIFIED SENIOR PEER SUPPORT VOLUNTEER
JSA provides several Senior Peer Support training courses per year. Upon successfully completing 55 hours of intensive training, the graduates receive a Certified Senior Peer Support Certificate.FIND OUT MORE...
FRIENDLY PHONE CALLS
Loneliness and social isolation are serious problems for many individuals and are especially prevalent within the senior population.FIND OUT MORE...
FRIENDLY HOME VISITORS
This program involves especially trained senior volunteers who make regularly scheduled visits to seniors that are shut-in, frail or socially isolated.FIND OUT MORE...
Grief is a difficult and emotional journey of pain, loneliness and isolation. Sharing these feeling with others in a caring and nurturing environment helps each person to find ways to cope.
JSA is extending referral services to sources of bereavement counselling.
- "JSA provided emergency service to a husband and wife who were both legally blind and living in sub-standard conditions. Charles Leibovitch was able to find a volunteer to assist the couple with attending their medical appointments and getting to the food bank."Vancouver Senior Citizen
- "A ninety five year old female expressed her appreciation and gratitude that she is receiving ongoing friendly phone calls and senior peer support by volunteers for several years. The volunteers have been a life line for me".95 year old female
- I am very happy with my friendly phone caller volunteer as I don’t go out anymore and look forward to her calls each week.Housebound female client
- "My volunteer is a real darling and I love her."98 years of age, using service for 2 years.
- I am very happy with both volunteers, my sessions with senior peer support are going well and I appreciate now having a friendly visitor on the week-ends as I find the week-ends particularly lonely.Female client, 2014
Some seniors do not have access to affordable and safe transportation. JSA will, when possible, have volunteers accompany clients by handidart, transit or taxi paid by client to a medical appointment, depending on the availability of a volunteer.
Unfortunately due to COVID, volunteers are currently unable to accompany clients to medical appointments. We look forward to the opportunity to resume services to assist seniors in need.
PEER SUPPORT SERVICES TEAM
Charles Leibovitch, M.S.W.
Senior Peer Support Services Coordinator
All services are designed to uplift the spirits of seniors through connection and the fundamental need we all have for belonging.
Senior Peer Support Services Trainer and Supervisor
Grace is President of Senior Peer Counselling of BC, and serves on the YWCA Board for the Community Action on Elder Abuse project.