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ESCC Updates           January 2015

Funding approved for home supports model

Senior serving organizations have identified home supports such as snow removal, yard services, minor home repair and housekeeping as essential in enabling seniors to successfully age in place. In December 2014 Edmonton City Council unanimously approved funding for a pilot project that will see the seniors sector implement a coordinated model for delivering these vital home supports to Edmonton seniors.
 
The model
Currently, agencies that offer home supports vary in their service criteria and capacity to deliver services. Additionally, some areas of the city are underserved. With the support of the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC), senior serving organizations have developed a coordinated six-district model for delivery of home support services through large senior centres that act as community hubs. The goal is to work together to ensure seniors are able to access quality, affordable and equitable city-wide services in a timely manner. Age criteria and service processes will be standardized and no membership fees will be charged to seniors who request home supports.
 
Implementation
This initiative will require a phased-in approach over three years. Timing of implementation for the six districts is outlined in this chart. Organizations with service delivery experience (Sage, LHHSA, WSAC and SEESA) will support those who are developing capacity. The proposed district senior centres are:
  • West: Westend Seniors Activity Centre
  • North West: North West Edmonton Seniors Society
  • North East: North Edmonton Seniors Association
  • South East: South East Edmonton Seniors Association
  • Mill Woods: Mill Woods Seniors Activity Centre
  • South West: SouthWest Edmonton Seniors Association
 
By the end of 2017 all six district senior centres will be offering the full range of home supports to area seniors. The agencies will work collaboratively to track statistics and trends in service delivery, evaluate effectiveness, jointly resolve issues that arise and examine unmet needs.
 
Roles of the districts
The six district centres will act as brokers for home supports—recruiting and vetting service providers, referring service providers to seniors and following up with seniors. Community development is a key element in this model, with districts mobilizing local groups and service providers to create low-cost service options. A district model facilitates this process by allowing the seniors organizations to capitalize on local connections and knowledge of their areas of the city. A fee-for-service referral list of vetted businesses that can serve more than one district will also be developed and maintained for seniors with economic means.
 
Districts will work closely with seniors to identify their needs, connect them to appropriate services, and provide information and support. Seniors will be referred to Outreach Workers when more in-depth service is required. Home Support Coordinators in each district will build community connections and coordinate the program.
 
Benefits
The need for home supports will continue to grow as Edmonton’s seniors population increases, so this initiative will have a profound impact. By providing agencies with the resources to rally service providers and develop a streamlined system, seniors organizations will have the ability to respond to the increasing demand. A coordinated system for delivering home supports will make it easier for seniors and their caregivers to access reliable and affordable services which will allow seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible.
 
We applaud the organizations participating in this project for their willingness to collaborate on building a system that can respond to the home support needs of Edmonton’s seniors.

Contact Sheila Hallett, Executive Director of the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, if you want more information on this initiative. Sheila can be reached at 780-423-5635 or executivedirector@seniorscouncil.net

Sector showcase highlights seniors initiatives

The adage “leave them wanting more” certainly applied to the sector showcase at ESCC’s December 2014 conversation café. Many attendees commented that so many interesting seniors initiatives were featured that they would have liked to attend more than the four presentations the time allowed for.
 
ESCC was very pleased by the number of organizations which stepped forward to present about their programs, services and projects. “The number and variety of initiatives that were featured illustrates the caliber of work being done in the seniors sector,” says Sheila Hallett, ESCC Executive Director. “This showcase gave attendees the opportunity to learn about initiatives that can help the people they serve and perhaps spark an idea of something they can implement at their organization.”
 
Fifteen presentations, including volunteer engagement, locating isolated seniors, and peer support for health and wellness showcased work being done to enhance the lives of Edmonton seniors. If you were unable to attend the event or if there were talks you weren’t able to participate in, refer to the list of topics/presenters to make contact with the presenter to learn more.

Thank you to the presenters who shared their knowledge and experiences and to everyone who participated in the discussions. Together we’re building capacity in the seniors sector.
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Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council
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