Matching Volunteers with Older Adults in the Baltimore County Community
The Vibrant Aging: Peers Program supports Baltimore County older adults through our Volunteer Support Program, where volunteers are paired with older adults who are experiencing challenges with emotional wellness. The older adults who participate in this program are individuals who may be experiencing challenging life transitions, loneliness, or isolation. Many are at risk for, or are experiencing, depression or anxiety. Others may have long-lived experience with behavioral health needs and are looking for support to achieve their recovery and wellness goals.
To volunteer with the program or learn more about referring someone for support, please contact Casey Saylor, Older Adult Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-901-1550 x213.
During COVID-19, we’re providing supportive phone and video visits to Baltimore County older adults through the Connections Project. Learn more here.
What do volunteers do?
It is the Volunteer Peer Supporter’s role to support the older adult(s) they’re paired with to ease symptoms and achieve wellness goals.**
Volunteers can expect to:
- Learn about behavioral health and aging and specialized resources that are available to older adults in Baltimore County. (We’ll teach you!)
- Be matched with a participant and regularly visit with them.
- Assist participants with identifying wellness/recovery goals and eliminate barriers by linking them with resources relevant to their choices.
- Function as a role model in areas such as identifying personal strengths, resiliency, building self-esteem, relationship-building, conflict resolution, etc.
- Observe participant well-being and discuss observations with the participant and the Older Adult Project Manager.
- Participate in supervision with the Older Adult Project Manager or Director of Older Adult Programs, who are Registered Peer Supervisors (RPS).
Successful volunteers in the Volunteer Support Program should:
- have compassion and empathy for others who may be struggling.
- believe that personal growth and quality of life is not limited by age.
- have strong interpersonal skills and feel comfortable reaching out to others.
- want to learn about brain health and aging.
- want to build skills in encouraging emotional wellness.
- want to do something meaningful and understand the mutual benefit of helping others.
If you are working toward becoming a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS), volunteering with this program can help you to obtain experience toward your 500-hour requirement, as well as supervision hours from our Registered Peer Supervisors.
Who can receive support?
Baltimore County residents who are 50 or older AND experiencing any of the following situations:
- challenging life transitions, loneliness, or isolation.
- at risk for/experiencing depression or anxiety.
- have long-lived experience with behavioral health needs (i.e. addiction or mental health conditions) and are looking for support to achieve their recovery and wellness goals.
All participants must consent to services.
** While our volunteers are trained in late life behavioral health issues, the PEERS program does not provide clinical or case management services and is not a substitute for professional help.