Elder Refugee Services

The Program to Enhance Elder Refugee Services (PEERS) enables elder refugees to access state and federal elder services in their communities by building collaborations between the community-based refugee organizations that refugees know and the elder services organizations they often don't know. The community partner helps refugees understand what elder services are available and helps elder service agencies understand how best to serve refugees given their special needs, interests and cultural backgrounds through collaborations between elder service and community-based refugee organizations.

PEERS reaches out to the most vulnerable elder refugees to offer many social and supportive services, either directly or by referral. Services include case management, senior center social and wellness activities, transport escort service and many more. All services are designed to meet the specific needs of refugee elders, such as providing ethnic food in Meals on Wheels programs, organizing social support groups, or sponsoring health education workshops and activities. PEERS staff also assist elders to access employment opportunities (stipended, volunteer or paid) by providing information and referral for refugees beyond retirement age interested in entering the workforce.

PEERS Objectives

  • Strengthen relationships between elder and refugee organizations to facilitate refugee access to elder services in their communities
  • Educate refugee communities and train bilingual/bicultural staff regarding elder services, to enable refugees to benefit from the network of services for which all elders are eligible

  • Develop services appropriate to the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of elder refugees

  • Expand access to services in order to meet the service needs of increasingly diverse refugee elder communities

  • Develop employment and volunteer opportunities to assist interested elder refugees to remain active and maintain independence

For definitions of terms used by the Office for Refugees and Immigrants, please view the Glossary.

This information is provided by the Office for Refugees and Immigrants.