ERIC Number: ED284106
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Social Support among Nursing Home Residents: Evaluation of a Peer Counselor Training Program.
Scharlach, Andrew E.
Although research has demonstrated the potentially salutary effects of peer support among older persons, salutary peer support and significant interpersonal bonds are often lacking within the confines of a nursing home. A program was designed to train nursing home residents to serve as peer counselors for newly-admitted residents in an effort to provide social support for new residents, facilitate new residents' adjustment to institutionalized living, and provide current residents with a meaningful volunteer role. Six male and 24 female nursing home residents volunteered for the study. Fifteen residents received peer counselor training and 15 residents served as controls. Recipients of the peer counseling services were 15 newly-admitted residents. Another 15 new admissions served as controls. The appearance of the 30 volunteer residents was rated by a staff member at the start of training and again 4 weeks after completion of training. An occupational therapist rated the social adjustment and physical functioning of the 30 new admissions at time of admission and again 2 months later. Empirical and anecdotal evidence indicated that peer counselor trainees and new residents who received counseling improved somewhat on measures of social functioning when compared to controls. These findings highlight the need for further attempts to understand and promote social support and social competence among institutionalized elderly adults. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Gerontological Society (30th, Anaheim, CA, March 17-21, 1984).