West Chester Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center residents complete training to support fellow residents

Bob O’Mara, Volunteer Ombudsman from the Chester County Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (center), with West Chester Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center residents who completed the PEER training (from left to right): Prince L White, Jr; Aubrey Baldwin; Lisa Carroll; and Chris Figurelli.

Chester County Ombudsmen Robert O’Mara and Jen Costello recently recognized residents at West Chester Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center who completed a five-week PEER training program.

The PEER program teaches resident advocates to work with facilities, staff, and their fellow residents to enhance quality of care and quality of life for those in long-term care. The program was created and is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to assist long-term care residents in volunteering their time and expertise to self-advocate issues that resonate with their peers.

“By encouraging a partnership between residents and staff of long-term care facilities, many resident concerns can be identified and solved before they become more intense issues,” said Jen Costello.  “We appreciate the work of the six volunteers at West Chester Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center for their commitment to the PEER training sessions and congratulate them on graduating from the program.”

PEER program participants attend five two-hour training sessions which include topics such as “The Focus is on YOU,” “Building Self-Resolution Skills,” and “PEER the Sky’s the Limit.”  There is also a two-hour session for facility staff to orient them to the PEER concept.

Following the completion of the training program, PEER participants are recognized with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishment of completing the program.

For more information on training to become a PEER advocate, contact the Chester County Department of Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program at 610-344-5004, extension 1.

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