Six seniors finish Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Residents (PEER) Program
BUTLER, Pa. – It’s not every day that Newhaven Court at Clearview holds a graduation party. After all, most residents of the senior living community earned their high school or college degrees decades ago.
But this month, Newhaven Court at Clearview joined the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in honoring six seniors who received graduation certificates as part of Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Residents (PEER) Program.
“The residents got together for a graduation party for our six new PEER graduates,” said Kathy Roudybush, Lifestyles Director of Newhaven Court at Clearview. “We were honored to have attending this event Wendy Hooks, Ombudsman and Jan Brown, Ombudsman Specialist from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; Beth Herold, the Area on Aging Director; and Judy Thompson, Ombudsman Supervisor at the Area on Aging.”
The residents completed a five-week training course taught by Wendy Hooks, Ombudsman with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. In addition to their graduation certificates, the new PEER members received a sign for their residence door, a name badge and a commemorative T-shirt.
Roudybush said Newhaven Court at Clearview is prohibited from releasing the residents’ names due to HIPPA regulations.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging website, the state Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office “expanded its volunteer efforts in training residents living in long-term care facilities when it implemented the PEER program in 2002.”
The website noted that state-certified ombudsmen teach residents residing in long-term care (LTC) facilities about their rights and how to advocate and maintain their rights for themselves and their fellow peers.
“Residents are taught how to work with facility staff to enhance their quality of care and life for all residents,” the website states. “Self-resolution and empowerment are themes consistently emphasized in all statewide trainings. The PEER program also offers residents additional information and resources that helps them to be a part of the solution. In Pennsylvania, we believe our PEERs become the residents with the solutions. Currently, the program exists in 58 out of the 67 counties, and over 2,100 residents have been rained. Our goal is to continue to expand the program statewide.”
For more information, contact Kathy Roudybush, Lifestyles Director, Newhaven Court at Clearview, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724.477.8701.inactivity,