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“Having Your Say” – Reflections on a Training Course For Older People Volunteering to Become Peer Visitors in Care Homes

By Peter Unwin and S. Leverett

Abstract

This article analyses the “Having Your Say” training course which was designed as the initial stage of a project developing peer visitors for older people’s residential care\ud homes. Peer visitors are older people who volunteer to take on a role aimed at capturing a “peer” perspective on the qualitative aspects of living within a residential\ud care home 1, in contrast to the empirical and regulatory perspectives which various managerial and inspectoral regimes already address as part of their statutory\ud obligations. This training course represents part of an ongoing programme aimed at further developing partnership working between a statutory provider, a higher education institution and a range of service user organisations including Worcestershire Association of Service Users (WASU) and Worcestershire Older Peoples’ Forum, a further intention being to evaluate the effectiveness of the actual\ud “Having Your Say” scheme itself once it has become more fully established. Considered within the article are the processes of developing and implementing preliminary support and learning for peer visitors, the reflective learning environment’s ability to facilitate older participants’’ learning and experience in order to further inform the project and an examination of the challenges involved in working with older people in learning and teaching activities. The “Having Your Say” project is\ud believed to be the first of its kind in the UK

Topics: HV
Publisher: University of Worcester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.eprints.org:708

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