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Find out what`s going on with
various ESCC projects

ESCC Updates            October 2016

In this issue:
PEGASIS: Building connections to reduce social isolation of seniors
Showcase: Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors
Age friendly ideas and inspiration
Shared database enhances home supports service
PEGASIS: Building connections to reduce social isolation of seniors*

PEGASIS Connecting Seniors to Reduce IsolationSocial isolation of seniors is a relatively new challenge that has emerged from the prosperity and social change experienced in North America over the decades following the Second World War. It is a threat to the health of a rapidly growing population, and a threat to the financial health of our society. Social isolation of seniors is a problem that challenges us all, because it is not an economic issue, nor a political issue; not a racial, nor religious, nor gender issue. Social isolation is about relationships and health; about the quality of our emotional and corporeal lives; and ultimately, about the health and resilience of our society. 

The PEGASIS Project aims to reduce the social isolation of seniors through collective action across our community. This is part of a larger project aimed at reducing social isolation of seniors across Canada, funded in part by the Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors program and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. 

PEGASIS – the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors – is a collaborative of agencies with years of experience and knowledge working to change how we think about our communities and the relationships we create and share. ESCC is the backbone for this collaborative. PEGASIS partners are working to find ways of reducing the loneliness and detachment experienced too often by people in their later years. This disconnection from society frequently leads to deterioration of emotional and physical health and significant increases in social and economic costs.

PEGASIS projects are working to develop innovative ways of connecting seniors with their communities and building new communities, by reducing or eliminating barriers to understanding and participation, and opening up additional lines of communication and sources of knowledge and understanding. We are working to educate and share the challenges and responsibilities of caring for each other across our communities, and to identify and support those people who are becoming disconnected as a result of physical and mental challenges, lack of transportation or other resources, linguistic or cultural barriers, or loss of family and friends. Learn more about the
projects.

To make a lasting impact on Edmonton seniors, we need the participation and support of everybody who cares about the health and well-being of our society. We are looking to expand partnerships and develop new relationships with agencies, services, businesses and communities across Edmonton. We are working with Alberta Health Services and the City of Edmonton, and we want to work with you to create real connections with seniors, and lasting social change in our community. Contact Tim Henderson, PEGASIS Project Manager, to learn more and get involved.

Tim can be reached at 780-423-5635 ext. 5 or tim@seniorscouncil.net. 

Showcase: Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors*

Social isolation and loneliness affect the health and quality of life of many seniors in our community. A recent survey of Edmonton seniors found that 3 per cent do not socialize with anyone over the course of an average week and 9 per cent socialize with only 1–2 people in a week.

The good news is that many Edmonton organizations are working to address social isolation of seniors and create a community where seniors’ well-being is actively supported. ESCC is hosting a showcase to highlight efforts underway to identify, connect and support isolated seniors. 
December 1, 1–4 p.m.
Location: Ital-Canadian Seniors Drop-In Centre, 9111 110 Avenue

Attend
Join us on December 1 to learn about innovative approaches to addressing social isolation of seniors. Seasonal refreshments will be served and there will also be opportunities for conversation with your colleagues.
RSVP for this free event by November 18. 

Present your project
We invite organizations working to increase awareness of social isolation, identifying isolated seniors, or offering programs and services that support isolated seniors to participate in the showcase. Submit an
expression of interest by November 10 to Janelle at janelle@seniorscouncil.net.
Age-friendly ideas and inspiration*

To build on the promising work Age Friendly Edmonton has started and create a more welcoming and supportive city, age-friendly ideas need to spread to every corner of the community.

Some newly developed materials show how recent work is contributing to an Age Friendly Edmonton and improving life for Edmonton seniors. The materials provide examples of initiatives that can be emulated and resources that can be accessed.


Aging Better Together Storybook
 
Leaflets featuring:
We welcome your help in sharing these stories that can inspire other good ideas. Printed copies of the leaflets have been produced and community members can request free copies to distribute. Copies of the leaflets can be picked up at the ESCC office. Contact Janelle at 780-423-5635 ext. 1 or janelle@seniorscouncil.net to make arrangements.

Shared database enhances home supports service*

A newly implemented database is helping the organizations involved with the Seniors Home Supports Program (SHSP) share information and track effectiveness of the service.

The SHSP is the collective effort of several seniors organizations which work together to provide Edmonton seniors with referrals for snow removal, yard help, housekeeping and minor home repair services. The program is organized so that there are lead organizations in each of the six districts across the city. Seniors contact the organization that coordinates the program in their area of the city to get referrals to service providers that will do the work.

When the SHSP was implemented there wasn’t a consistent database in use among the participating organizations, so ESCC facilitated a process to investigate several options. The organizations chose a system called A Better Community Database (ABCD), which was developed in Calgary for their senior sector outreach work. 

The district Home Support Coordinators began using the database in July 2016 after it had been customized to match their workflow and program needs. The database allows districts to share information about service providers to help them give appropriate referrals when seniors call for assistance. Service providers can be matched to meet the seniors’ criteria such as type of service required, budget, size of job, length of service, location. Seniors’ information entered by each district is kept private and is accessible only by the district that serves them.

Part of ESCC’s role in the SHSP is to help determine if outcomes are being met (evaluating to see if the program is having an impact). An evaluation framework was created and districts use the same survey questions with clients on intake and follow-up to see if the program is making a positive difference in the seniors' ability to remain living in their homes. Their answers to the survey questions will be part of the data that the system stores. Collating all the answers from seniors across the districts will tell us if the program is working like we all hoped it would. ESCC monitors the database and we are able to see aggregated information from each district (not individual client data). Reports using the aggregate data will inform whether the program is working as intended or if other enhancements are required.

If you have questions about the database or reporting, contact Sheila Hallett at 780-423-5635 ext. 3 or executivedirector@seniorscouncil.net.


Background
The Seniors Home Supports Program model was developed by a number of Edmonton seniors organizations with help from the ESCC. Funding for the 3-year pilot beginning in 2015 was contributed by the City of Edmonton Citizen Services department.

For more information on the program visit
www.SeniorsHomeSupports.com or download an information sheet which outlines the services included in the program, referral process and a map which shows the geographical boundaries and a list of postal codes for each district.
 
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