BSOSS peer counsellors provide a free, confidential, one to one counselling service for seniors, 50+, who are facing anxiety, frustration or difficulty because of life altering changes in their later years.
A peer counsellor is a trained senior volunteer who provides, at no cost, support and guidance through difficult times. These volunteers are selected for their personal qualities of warmth and compassion as well as life experiences. They have received 54 hours of training in communications, listening and counselling skills
A peer counsellor:
- Will be nonjudgmental
- Will assist you to find your own solutions to your problems
- Will help direct you to community services, as needed
- Will respect confidentiality at all times.
Volunteer Peer Counselling Training Program
BSOSS offers a 54-hour training course in communications and counselling skills, problem-solving strategies, community resources and aging issues to seniors 55 years and over, who will provide volunteer supportive counselling to seniors in Burnaby. The curriculum is comparable to that offered at the university level, but is taught in a way which makes it practical and enjoyable for older learners. This training is supplemented by supervised case management and continuing education.
We do require that trainees become a member of the Society for an annual fee of $10; then this unique training is provided at no additional cost to volunteers who commit to providing at least one year of service to BSOSS in order to assist fellow seniors who are experiencing situational or emotional upheaval and need to cope with life’s challenges.
This peer focused group learning program assists seniors to develop or enhance the skills and confidence they may need to find purpose and reconnect into the community after having experienced a significant change or loss such as retirement, widowhood, caregiving for an ailing spouse, relocation, loss of close friends, health problems or disabilities.
This program is designed to stimulate self-awareness and personal growth by:
- Redefining priorities and life goals
- Developing personal and practical skills
- Learning new coping strategies
- Developing confidence to make rewarding life choices
- Identifying strengths and abilities
- Discovering new interests
- Finding meaning and purpose such as through volunteering
The format of the program is a series of 8 2-hour weekly sessions.
Caregiving can be a daunting task. Caring for an aging or disabled relative can drastically change one’s family and social life, and provide new challenges. This program provides information which can help alleviate caregiver stress, and also help improve quality of life for the care recipient.
We offer education sessions with outside speakers, as well as a self-help support group where family caregivers can share emotions and experiences, seek and give advice and exchange practical information with others, and create a network for mutual support.
BSOSS volunteer Senior Peer Counsellors will also be available to offer confidential one-to-one support to family caregivers when requested.
An extensive guide to resources for family caregivers and how to access them is available by contacting our office.
Please visit our Caregivers Program page for information on this.
Recently, we lost our much needed funding for this program. Your financial help is now needed to keep this program running. See SOS for Burnaby Caregivers to see how you can donate!