Peer Support

Request a Peer Support Visit

Requesting a visit is easy:
Download & Complete the request form OR Call Limbs 4 Life on 1300 782 231.


Once we have received your referral form, we will contact you, or your designated contact, to make visiting arrangements.

Become a Peer Support Volunteer

Limbs 4 Life is constantly looking to expand our Peer Support Program service. In order for us to provide the best possible support to new amputees within the community we continue to seek the support of new volunteers.


Peer Support Volunteers are people who have lived with limb loss for a number of years and have successfully regained their independence. Our Peer Support Volunteers are keen to support others and become a role model and mentor to other amputees just starting out on the journey to recovery and independence. There are some natural qualities that people have that make them good Peer Support Volunteers:


  • A personal experience of limb loss
  • Understanding that people who have undergone a limb amputation can and do recover to lead independent lives
  • A desire to help others
  • Being a good listener
  • Being reliable and committed

If you think you have what it takes to become a Peer Support Volunteer or would like some information regarding our program please register your interest by using the form below or contact Limbs 4 Life on 1300 782 231

A Practical Guide for setting up a Peer Support Group

The information outlined in this resource has been developed specifically for establishing, planning and maintaining amputee specific peer support groups.

 

This resource is designed for anyone affected by amputation who is considering starting an amputee specific support group. It raises some key questions about some of the things to consider in the process of the development and planning of a group. Throughout this document you will find a series of guidelines and tips, along with a ‘how to’ list and a number of templates to get you started.



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.


 

In Australia people suffer limb loss every day, the most common reason being as a result of diabetes. Other reasons for limb loss include cancer, trauma accidents, infections, vascular disease and congenital differences. Limb loss does not discriminate and people of all cultures, gender, ages and differing socio economic status can be affected. Upon becoming an amputee, or when faced with the prospect of limb loss, it can be reassuring to discuss your concerns or fears.

A Practical Guide for Amputees

A Practical Guide for Amputees

In Australia people face the challenges associated with limb loss every day. In fact, every three hours a limb is lost due to diabetes, and it is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputations in this country.

 

Some people lose limbs due to vascular disease or cancer, while other individuals face limb loss as a result of accidents and infection. Regardless of the cause, amputation is life changing for each individual and their family.

 

The aim of this resource is to provide you with some practical information to help guide you through the journey ahead.

 


Receiving support from family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues can greatly assist you in coming to terms with your limb loss.

Speaking to another amputee can make a difference to your outlook and ease concerns placed on you and your loved ones. At Limbs 4 Life we call this type of assistance Peer Support.

 

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.

Our Peer Support Volunteers are not experts, like you they are amputees, but they have lived with limb loss for a number of years and have successfully regained their independence.

Our Peer Support Volunteers are keen to support others and become a role model and mentor to new amputees just starting out on the journey to recovery.

 

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

The Limbs 4 Life Peer Support Program matches amputees in hospitals and rehabilitation centres to trained Peer Support Volunteers.

 

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.

Peer Support Volunteer Training

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.

 

Matching Amputees to Volunteers

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:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Reason for amputation
  • Site of amputation
  • Personal interests

What to expect from a Peer Support Visit

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.