What is Peer Support?
Losing a limb and becoming an amputee leads to a range of physical and lifestyle changes and challenges for the individual and their loved ones.
Receiving support from family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues can greatly assist you in coming to terms with your limb loss.
Speaking with an amputee peer can play an important part in your preparation, recovery and rehabilitation. In fact speaking to someone who personally understands what it means to lose a limb can often be a great relief and allow you to ask questions and discuss issues that only someone who has been through it can answer. The early stages of your recovery may be a time of great uncertainty and doubt. Many amputees feel more comfortable discussing personal issues with someone who understands what they are going through, someone who has hard earned experience and can appreciate just how you feel. Limbs 4 Life's Peer Support Program matches trained Volunteers with new amputees requesting support.
The Peer Support Program allows amputees to connect with volunteers who are willing to share their knowledge and experience to assist others during their transition. Many amputees have told us that receiving a visit from a Peer Support Volunteer was a rewarding experience; and one that gave them the chance to speak openly about how they were feeling, address some of the issues and concerns that they had, and alleviate some of the distress they were feeling.
I joined Limbs 4 Life because no one should be feeling alone in this experience. Support from other amputees is essential.Peer Support Volunteer, 48 years
I think the peer support program is a great idea and I support it wholeheartedly.Clinical Psychologist, Box Hill
I became a Peer Support Volunteer because I would like to help younger people cope. It's important for them to meet others who can empathise with their feelings, and offer them support.Peer Support Volunteer, 27 years
Our Peer Support Volunteers are assessed for suitability, undergo a police check and then take part in a training program to prepare them for their work as a peer mentor. Peer Support Volunteers can also assist family members or care givers who want to better understand how they can help a loved one who has experienced (or is about to experience) an amputation.
Limbs 4 Life is committed to ensuring that you receive the support you deserve.
Our training program prepares individuals for their role as a Peer Support Volunteer, outlining their responsibilities and obligations (such as protecting your confidentiality). Once the training is complete and our staff members are confident they are capable of taking on this role, these committed individuals become part of our Peer Support Volunteer team.
Due to increased rates of diabetes and vascular disease the number of limb amputations taking place in Australia is also increasing. In an effort to meet the demand and ensure that all amputees are empowered with information and support, over the coming years Limbs 4 Life aims to:
The nature of the visit and types of issues discussed will very much depend on the individual needs of each amputee. All of our Peer Support Volunteers are trained to listen and support, and they do not follow a set format or pre-determined list of questions. This helps to ensure that the individual leads the direction of the visit and the Peer Support Volunteer can meet individual needs. Sometimes an amputee will only request one visit, but for others a series of visits may be useful.