PEER graduates new class at Albright LIFE

Seven residents from Albright LIFE in Lycoming County completed five weeks of two hour sessions on April 28, to become STEP Office of Aging’s latest “graduates” of the PEER (Pennsylvania’s Empowered Expert Residents) program. The classes, which were hosted by Albright LIFE, were taught by Rick Wehler, Gina Cuddeback and Traci Foster of the Long Term Care Ombudsman program with STEP Office of Aging.

Presentations included information on resident rights, various roles of facility staff, tools — such as the “ladder of resolution” — that can be used in solving problems, respecting confidentiality and the differences in people and how to report abuse. Participants, who came from Albright LIFE, received a badge which identifies them as PEERs who stand ready to help their fellow participants or facility staff.

The PEER program is unique to Pennsylvania. STEP Office of Aging Ombudsmen began presenting the program in 2006 and each nursing home and most Personal Care Homes in Lycoming and Clinton counties have PEER graduates. There are almost 150 trained PEER graduates active in Lycoming and Clinton county facilities.