The Beaver County Office on Aging is proud to announce the graduation of the second PEER group at Beaver Meadows, part of St. Barnabas.
PEER stands for Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Residents. The project is a concept that trains residents in the facility to be advocates for other residents by enhancing the quality of care and quality of life for the residents in that facility. PEER volunteers work closely with the staff and administration of the facility, as well as coordinating with the local staff ombudsman.
Five training sessions took place at Beaver Meadows conducted by the Beaver County Office on Aging’s staff ombudsmen Joline Pawlack and Tracey Weyman, along with volunteer ombudsman Jean Dobay. The staff at Beaver Meadows also had a special session to learn about PEER. After graduation, the staff ombudsman will meet regularly with the PEERS to provide support.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Wooden Angel on Wednesday, June 8 and included friends and families of the graduates. Graduates were presented with PEER shirts and door signs by regional ombudsman Dorrie Taylor. Peers also received a tote bag and personalized embroidered blanket, as well as a starfish pin.
The graduation was coordinated by the PEER’s themselves and included the PEER group, lead by one of the original PEERS, Flossie Sampson, in singing a favorite hymn, “Mansion on the Hilltop.” Several PEERS presented readings: Mary Loverich on “Attitudes” and John Justi on “Togetherness.” A specially requested “Hoola Hoop” presentation was performed by Beaver Meadows administrator Katie Schneider and staff ombudsman Dawna Bott.
The program’s goal is to have a PEER project implemented at every Beaver County facility.
Residents of Beaver County personal care, Dom care and nursing homes who are interested in becoming PEER volunteers can contact the Ombudsman Department at the Beaver County Office on Aging at (724) 847-2262.