Volunteers Involved for the Emotional Well-being of Seniors (VIEWS) is a program of Cascadia’s Older Adult Outpatient Services.
The VIEWS program promotes the emotional well-being of seniors through peer counseling and social engagement. Weekly peer support groups and the Conversations on Aging provide emotional support, unconditional listening, and sharing of experiences at no cost to the participants.
To access Cascadia’s VIEWS services including joining a support group, scheduling a “Conversation on Aging” presentation at your facility, to volunteer, or for more information about the program please contact VIEWS Program Manager: 503-261-6181 or Contact us.
Peer Support Groups are small closed groups that allow the participants to freely discuss topics that meet their needs. Peer Support Groups help to reduce isolation and while building community for the participants.
- Peer Support Groups are held weekly at the same location
- 5-8 screened participants *
- Meetings are confidential and occur in a safe and supportive environment where members can talk about life’s challenges, changes, losses and successes.
- Include our Gay and Grey group, a mixed gender support group for LGBT older adults.
- Sessions facilitated by trained VIEWS senior peer counseling volunteers that are older adults (age 55+)
*Prospective members are interviewed to ensure a good fit and are asked to make a weekly commitment to the support groups.
Conversations on Aging provide an opportunity for older adults to come together and discuss their feelings and experiences on specific topis of aging. VIEWS’ Conversation on Aging discussion groups are:
- A place for participants to share their feelings and listen to others.
- Confidential discussions that are held in a private room.
- Facilitated by trained VIEWS Conversation Facilitator volunteers that are older adults (age 55+).
- 90 minute sessions that are most effective for groups of 8-10 participants. Conversations on Aging groups are hosted at various venues and are advertised in local and senior-focused publications, Senior Center newsletters and on the Calendar on the VIEWS website.
*If you are unable to travel, an individual peer counselor may be available to come to your home.
VIEWS volunteers are a vital force in the community, assisting other older adults and providing a model for healthy aging. VIEWS provides its services in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties.
We have two volunteer opportunities:
Senior Peer Counselors (ages 55 and better)
VIEWS Senior Peer Counselors facilitate weekly groups that provide emotional support to small groups of seniors, and provide a limited one-to-one counseling for some individuals who are unable to travel to one of our support groups. VIEWS Senior Peer Counselors also facilitate 90 minute discussions called Conversations on Aging. The Conversations focus on topics that help older adults navigate the changes and challenges that come with aging.
Volunteers wishing to become VIEWS Senior Peer Counselors will receive a comprehensive training that includes issues of aging and group facilitation techniques. Staff mental-health professionals screen each potential client prior to being matched with a volunteer or group. Professionals also provide monthly education and support as well as consultation whenever needed. VIEWS volunteers always have professional backup to help them in their work.
Senior Peer Counselors must complete the comprehensive training, and a background check. They commit to working at least four hours each week (the peer counseling time plus travel and supervision), for a minimum of one year. Volunteers also commit to attending the monthly education and support meetings throughout their active volunteering with VIEWS.
VIEWS Conversation Facilitators (ages 55 and better)
VIEWS Conversation Facilitators co-lead 90 minute discussions that are held at various locations around the Metro area. The Conversations are focused on specific topics that help older adults navigate the changes and challenges that come with aging.
Volunteers wishing to become Conversation Facilitators will receive a full day of training and a manual that details approaches and discussion ideas for presenting the Conversations on Aging.
Conversation Facilitators must complete the training,as and a background check. They commit to 2.5 – 10 hours per month (from one to four Conversations) for a minimum of one year. Volunteers also commit to attending the monthly education and support meetings throughout their active volunteering with VIEWS.
If you have any further questions, please contact the VIEWS Program Manager, at 503-261-6181 or email email@example.com.
Conversation on Aging Discussion Topics
VIEWS offers FREE facilitated Discussion Groups on topics important to people 60 years and above. The interactive Conversations provide a forum for discussion as well as an opportunity to explore new possibilities and resources.
Bridging Life Transitions
Everyone’s life includes transitions. As older adults, we want to manage these transitions effectively while remaining as independent as possible. Explore ways to cope with change using a lifetime of strengths and learned skills.
Creating Home As You Age
Many of us don’t think about where and how we will live as we age. Although we have strong feelings about what we would like, we often wait until our health or social needs change and then, sometimes our home needs to change as well. This may include anything from installing grab bars in the shower to hiring care or looking at retirement communities. Join us for a facilitated discussion about the things that are most important to you regarding your living situation, how things might change as you age, and some of the options available as you plan for creating home in this next stage of life.
Engaging with Adult Children
Relationships with children change as we age. Examine current problems and foster greater understanding between generations. Be part of a discussion about relationships with adult children. Talk about some of your concerns.
Forgetfulness: Where Did I Leave My Glasses?
Have you ever walked into a room to get something, then forgot why you were there? Do you find yourself spending a lot of time looking for things like your glasses or your keys? Do you ever struggle to find a thought or word that’s “right on the tip if your tongue”? While these situations may be concerning, they may just be a normal part of aging. Come join others in a lively discussion about your experiences as well as your concerns. Share ideas about ways to strengthen memory as well as how to cope with forgetfulness.
Giving Up The Keys
We are familiar with the joys that driving has brought us, but how does it feel when it’s time to give up your keys? Whether you have already stopped driving, or are just beginning to think about it, come and share your feelings and concerns with others. Explore ways to cope with the changes that come with giving up driving. Exchange ideas and resources. See how helpful a discussion with peers can be.
The Holidays are meant to be a time of joy and sharing. As our lives change over the years, our holiday experiences may not always live up to our expectations. Join us to identify what is important to you about the holidays and explore ways to bring those things into your celebrations this year. Reduce stress and focus on the things that bring meaning and joy.
Learning from Grief and Loss
As we age, we experience losses of many types. Grief may become a more common experience. Your healing takes as long as it takes. Learn from others and yourself how to find your own unique path through grief.
New Wisdom /Life Lessons
Along with the challenges that frequently accompany the aging process, increasing wisdom is an outcome as well. Join us for a Conversation about the wisdom you have developed over the years, and share with others what you have learned “the hard way.” Talk with your peers about the lessons you’ve learned in your lifetime and the legacy of wisdom you might like to pass on.
Staying Engaged in Life
Ever had “the blues” or been “down in the dumps?” What is the difference between sadness, depression and grief? Learn from others and yourself how to help make the “dark” days a little brighter.
Talking with Your Doctor
Have you ever been anxious or frustrated by a doctor’s visit in which your needs were not met? Are you in charge of your health care? Let’s talk about what it would take to feel that you and your doctor are part of the same team.
The Elder Journey
What new perspectives have you formed through your life? What brings meaning and purpose to you now? Come and join us for a thoughtful discussion about the new roles that appear for you as you enter this next stage of life.
Who Am I Now?
Our roles and responsibilities change throughout life, as we take on new roles and give up others. Explore who you are at this point in your life and what brings meaning to your life. Join a group of your peers to discuss the pros and cons of these changes and to bring clarity to how you will define yourself during this stage of life.
Let’s Talk About End of Life Decisions
We live in a culture where, for many, considering end-of-life realities is an overwhelming challenge and easily set aside. This Conversation on Aging is not intended to provide legal advice, but rather to create a safe environment for you to talk with a group of peers about this topic. Explore and share your feelings, fears, and thoughts that surround the task of making plans and asking questions about end-of-life decisions.
Click the button below to access the online application for volunteer opportunities.
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