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Find out what`s going on with
various ESCC projects

ESCC Updates                         July 2014

ESCC receives Age-Friendly Alberta award

ESCC and City of Edmonton receive Age-Friendly Alberta award
The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC) and the City of Edmonton were recently honoured by the Government of Alberta with the Age-Friendly Alberta Award. The award recognizes the leadership of the ESCC and the City of Edmonton in coordinating the Age Friendly Edmonton initiative. Age Friendly Edmonton brings together many partners in the seniors sector who are actively working to ensure that Edmonton is a community that values, respects and supports the well-being of seniors.

Seniors Information Phone Line connects seniors to resources


Senior accessing the Seniors Information Phone LineWe’re very proud to announce the official launch of the Seniors Information Phone Line.This resource will greatly improve access to information about seniors programs and services in the Edmonton area.

The Seniors Information Phone Line is an enhancement to the existing 211 Edmonton phone line (a program of The Support Network) and marks the first time the 211 service has been adapted in Alberta to be more responsive to the needs of seniors.

With the launch of the Seniors Information Phone Line, seniors and their caregivers now have access to a central resource that will help them navigate through supports offered by the seniors sector.  The 211 Information and Referral Specialists will provide information about appropriate programs and services in the community and if necessary connect the caller to an outreach worker at one of several senior service agencies in Edmonton who can perform a more detailed assessment.

The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC) is very proud to have facilitated the development of the Seniors Information Phone line in collaboration with many ESCC members and stakeholders. With support from Age Friendly Edmonton, the ESCC partnered with the City of Edmonton Seniors Team, The Support Network, The United Way and representatives from many seniors organizations to develop the central telephone service for seniors. Over the past year, the group developed the necessary procedures and resources so that when a senior or their caregiver calls the Seniors Information Phone Line, they are provided with timely and accurate information and referrals that meet their needs.

The ESCC has developed a variety of promotional items that we can provide to those interested in helping spread the word about the Seniors Information Phone Line. Posters, fridge magnets, newsletter articles and images are available free of charge. Contact Janelle at 780-423-5635 or janelle@seniorscouncil.net to get the materials.

Conversation café facilitates information sharing

participants engaged in conversation
engaging discussions at converation cafe
Lively conversations sprouted up as fast as wild flowers at ESCC’s summer conversation café. The event held on June 25 gave staff, board members and stakeholders in the seniors sector a chance to connect with each other about common issues they’re facing and learn about the research work completed in the first year of the Age Friendly Edmonton initiative.
 
A lot of progress has been made by the Age Friendly Edmonton working groups over the last year and representatives were on hand to share their research, talk about projects and answer questions.

Information was shared on various research projects and initiatives including: Participants welcomed the opportunity to discuss these and other topics and pick up resources that will benefit the work they do supporting seniors.
 
The conversation café also allowed participants to gain insights from colleagues in the seniors sector about a variety of challenges and share ideas for ways to help make the sector stronger. Making centres welcoming for multicultural seniors, policies regarding falls at facilities, getting younger seniors involved, reaching out to isolated seniors, and joint promotion of seniors centres were some of the topics that were raised. Input such as this about issues facing ESCC members informs our work and we’ll follow up on these topics to see where we can assist.
 
We hope you’ll join us at our next conversation café in December.
ESCC conversation cafe June 25

Creative Age Edmonton encourages seniors to pARTicipate


This year’s FEST & More, presented by Creative Age Edmonton, was a celebration of all things creative. From comedy improv and creative movement to choirs and swing bands, FEST & More showcased a variety of senior performers and encouraged seniors to explore their creative side. For a taste of the performances and workshops, view the photo gallery on the Creative Age Edmonton website.

While the festival’s goal is to celebrate the artistic contributions of seniors, this year’s festival also brought together performers young and old for the Intergenerational Poetry and Storytelling Showcase. This multi-generational collaboration highlighted how important it is for artists and audiences of all ages to share in the arts.
 
Putting together an event of this magnitude involves many partners, and Alice Major, chair of the Creative Age Edmonton board, would like to thank:
  • Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council for administrative and organizational support
  • The city’s Vision for an Age Friendly Edmonton for financial support
  • Churchill Retirement Residence for supporting this year’s launch event and hosting workshops
  • North Edmonton Seniors Association, River Ridge Seniors Community and Sage for hosting arts cafes and workshops and being part of the organizing committee
  • GeriActors & Friends for organizing the workshops and performances offered as part of FEST: The Festival of Edmonton Seniors Theatre
The Creative Age Edmonton board is interested in hearing from organizations in the seniors and arts sectors that recognize the benefits of creative aging and wish to partner for next year’s events and also for activities throughout the year. Contact info@creativeageedmonton.ca to express your interest.

Creative Age Edmonton is also expanding beyond the one week festival in June by offering free workshops with professional artists throughout the year. The first workshop is currently underway and is an Introduction to Sculpting with Clay, led by sculptor William Johnson. A literary storytelling circle led by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail will run from August 25 to September 22 at the Multicultural Women and Seniors Services Association. Later in the fall expect a video arts workshop with Eva Colmers at the Edmonton Public Library. Details will be posted to the Creative Age Edmonton blog.

Creative Age Edmonton will continue to promote the benefits of creative aging and offer opportunities for seniors to pARTicipate in the arts. Stay tuned to the Creative Age Edmonton website for future announcements.
The Churchill Singers at the launch of FEST & More

Outreach Project


Work is wrapping up on the manual for outreach workers. In June executive directors of senior service agencies met to review the draft manual developed by the Outreach Steering Committee. Additional refinements to the manual were discussed such as including best practices in the manual and creating stand-alone interview guides.
 
The executive directors have agreed to meet once a year to look at service gaps and unmet needs. ESCC staff will continue to attend regular meetings of outreach workers and support expansion of their collaborative network and joint training.

LIFT Update


LIFT Drive happinessThe collaboration has continued to meet every two weeks to achieve their objectives. Consistent practices are being solidified through the adoption of standards, creation of common forms and training manuals. A baseline assessment has been completed which focused on the development of an evaluation framework and data collection methods that assisted in understanding the current state of the collaborative initiative and will support ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
 
Between November 2013 and April 2014, 60 people have become new users of the service as a result of the LIFT subsidy project and they have received over 800 rides!  Pre-post data from 14 of those participants indicates that they were better able to schedule medical appointments, get groceries and see their friends. When asked what impact this has made in their lives, they responded:
  • “It has been a lifeline to me, able to keep my appointments, trying to be more independent.”
  • “The volunteers are angels from God.”
  • “I'm able to go to the doctor, meet people, I feel better.”
Ongoing sponsorship of the subsidy portion of LIFT is being sought to continue the service.

 A communication strategy to increase awareness of volunteer driving and recruit new volunteers has been developed and a grant from the Stollery Foundation will allow us to implement the strategy. In the fall watch out for bridge banners and a website to complement the posters and car door magnets already in use. LIFT: Drive Happiness!

Snow Removal Project


The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council continues to work with stakeholders to explore coordinated models of snow removal for seniors. Seniors serving organizations currently providing snow removal services have proposed a coordinated five-district model for snow removal services in Edmonton. In May the group met to discuss existing programs, resources for providing snow removal services (where currently no resource exists), how to track demand for service and how seniors access services.
 
In the early fall, groups that are currently involved with snow removal for seniors will present a workshop outlining how their organization manages these services. Agencies that don’t currently offer the service but which are candidates for becoming a district centre for snow removal are invited to attend to learn what’s involved. More details will be provided in the fall.
 
The group also recognizes that snow removal is part of the larger issue of home support and there is talk of including other home services in the district model (a thought that was also echoed at the June 25 Conversation Café). Interest has been expressed in pursuing a request for funding to incorporate home services with the snow removal model. If there is support for this, an expanded business case will be developed to outline the resources each district would need in order to do this. 
 
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