Older Adult Peer Services (OAPS)

OAPS enhances the lives of older adults (55+) who have experienced trauma, mental health challenges and/or substance abuse by offering companionship and community experiences to foster healthy social interaction and personal growth. It is a program through our Northeast Recovery Learning Community (NERLC) and services are paid for through the Medicaid 1115 Frail Elder Waiver (FEW).

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is the “process of giving and receiving encouragement and assistance to achieve long-term recovery.” Peer supporters “offer emotional support, share knowledge, teach skills, provide practical assistance, and connect people with resources, opportunities, communities of support, and other people.” (Mead, 2003; Solomon, 2004)

A group of older adults chatting and drinking coffee

Certified Older Adult Peer Specialists (COAPS)

COAPS Specialists are 55+ years old and have lived experience with mental health challenges. They are specially trained to offer compassionate, non-judgmental listening and problem-solving support to older adults who may be experiencing social isolation, loneliness and/or related challenges. COAPS Specialists have received certification as a MA Certified Peer Specialist and completed evidence-based training by the University of PA.

Older Adult Peer Services Include:

  • Individual Meetings
  • Support Groups
  • Addiction Recovery Support
  • Older Adult Specific Trainings
  • Daily Coping Skills
  • Assistance Accessing Community Resources
  • Encouragement for Independent Living
  • Emotional Support
  • Problem-Solving Skills
Older white woman wearing glasses and smiling

Voices of NILP

"Being around people is very important. I need connection and I get it here."
NILP Consumer