My training with Alliance on Aging (long)
I have been busy lately, but I still keep in touch on the forum. Last summer, when Mother was in rehab after the kyphoplasty, I hooked up with a care-givers support group sponsored by the Alliance on Aging, a network of services to seniors. Under one umbrella group, we have 8 programs: information, assistance and referral; senior employment, up to 20 hours a week at minimum wage at local non-profits, but it's a start back to the workforce for many people; friendly visitor; senior peer counseling; tax preparation and counseling; health insurance counseling & advocacy program (HICAP); senior homeshare; and omsbudsman for nursing home patients.
I have been in training for the peer counseling program since January. This program is run by a PhD clinical psychologist and a marriage & family counselor with a private practice as well. There are 5 of us in this training program, and maybe 25 or 30 active peer counselors in the county.
I'd be happy to share the course outline with anyone interested. We have had one book, Listening With Different Ears: Counseling People Over 60 by James Warnick. But we have a thick notebook of materials that cover an overview of counseling theories, ethical issues, health issues and death (read Tuesdays with Morrie in this section), group processes, mental health and depression, Alzheimers and more.
So this week, we graduate and will start to work. I figure that I'll work with the group that I am a part of now, since one of the leaders is planning on moving away. But I'll also get private sessions assigned to me. The clients are pre-screened by the program administrator and the recommended counseling is a 10 week, once a week session in the clients home.
All for no cost to the client at all.
This is a fabulous organization, and I wish that every community had its own Alliance on Aging. If your community has a group like this, become familiar with it so you can use the services or recommend it to others. And if your community doesn't have this sort of group, support starting something similar.
When mother died, I moved from caregiver to estate executor, and now I'm looking forward to giving back to the community. Because life goes on, and I've learned so much from taking care of mother for the past 3+ years, and now I need to have something to do with my energy!
Here is a link that might be useful: Alliance on Aging