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.
JSA provides several Senior Peer Counselling training courses per year. Upon successfully completing 55 hours of intensive training, the graduates receive a Peer Counselling 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 an open invitation to those who grieve a loss of a loved one, to join a support group dedicated to help and encourage each other, and to travel the healing journey together.
From time to time group support is not suitable for some clients, in which case individual bereavement support is provided via our peer counsellor service.
- I am very happy with both volunteers, my sessions with senior peer counselling 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
- "A ninety five year old female expressed her appreciation and gratitude that she is receiving ongoing friendly phone calls and senior peer counseling by volunteers for several years. The volunteers have been a life line for me".95 year old female
- "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
- "My volunteer is a real darling and I love her."98 years of age, using service for 2 years.
- 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
Some seniors do not have access to affordable and safe transportation. JSAGV continues to review a driving service that transports the elderly to and from medical appointments, by exploring funding opportunities. The service is manned by a volunteer driver who uses their own personal car to perform this on a volunteer basis.
This service is offered to a few of our clients, and only for driving to medical appointments. Access to affordable and accessible transportation reduces isolation, and seniors have indicated that if they had better transportation options they would be able to attend events and programs.
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.
1 – Introduction of Emotional Support by Grace Hann on October 26, 2014
2 – Continuation at the JSA Symposium, by Grace Hann.
3 – A skit reflecting on the training process of Senior Peer Counselling
4 – Continuation with Grace Hann, Peggy Casey, Mark Godfrey, Lorilee Mallek, and Nora Paul.
Seniors cannot change inevitable circumstances, but we do have a choice in our reactions to events by our attitudes and behaviours. Seniors can retain a degree of cherished independence by becoming aware, with the aid of peer help, of alternative meanings, values, and choices