Find out what`s going on with
various ESCC projects

ESCC Project Updates

                      December  16, 2013
Season’s Greeting from the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council
(Photo taken at our Nov. 29-13 Seasonal Gathering as the Forever Young Band of the Edmonton Aboriginal Senior Centre entertained)

As we look back on the year with its many projects, initiatives and meetings, we can all feel proud of the increasing efforts to enhance services and make improvements to programs that will be a real benefit to Edmonton seniors.

Many good programs and services for seniors have developed and blossomed over the years and no doubt deserve recognition. Now we are united on an age-friendly vision: “Edmonton is a community that values, respects and actively supports the safety, diversity and wellbeing of seniors.”

We commit our time as staff, as board members or as volunteers to engage in work that aligns with that vision. We are learning to trust each other and are able to recognize and describe progress. ESCC facilitated the development of that vision and strategy with your help and now we play a support role to the Age Friendly Edmonton initiative, as well as lead projects that fit within our mandate. ESCC's focus is on work that builds the capacity of senior-serving organizations to provide effective, accessible services to meet the diverse needs of seniors.

ESCC values the work of all of our member agencies and we thank you for your commitment to seniors and to the sector. There is great value in the work that has taken place in 2013, with the over-15 age friendly projects.

Be encouraged that you will feel energized as you talk to your colleagues about all the good things that are happening in our sector. You will help others to see the benefit and understand the value of the investment of time and energy. We will work together to share success stories — of both the long-standing successes and the more recent achievements of Age Friendly Edmonton. Thank you for what you do! All the best for the New Year.
Door-Through-Door Seniors Assisted Transportation Project

The three agencies involved in implementing a shared service for seniors assisted rides took some time recently to reflect on what they were grateful for. This project was funded by the City of Edmonton for one year with an ambitious to-do list that included standardizing volunteer management practices, policies, procedures and reporting; implementing a shared-software for ride management; market research; developing a shared brand and promotion campaign;  establishing an evaluation framework and creating a subsidy pool for low-income seniors to obtain the ride service. To their credit board and staff of the three agencies met every other week since January of 2013 and they’ve reached some benchmarks which contribute to success. A fund developer will work with the group until June of 2014 to raise funds for shared service components. Stay tuned in early 2014 when they will unveil their new name and branding.
Enhanced Telephone Line for Seniors Information and Referral
At the beginning of December 2013, the 211 telephone line operators began piloting special call screens when seniors phoned for information and referral. These call screens were developed in consultation with the senior sector to identify and respond to need; to provide information; to provide supported referrals; and to track trends and information needs. This project aims to give ease of access and use of the telephone line as a means to gain senior-specific information and referral and to allow the senior to get the help they need with the least number of steps possible. Once these call screens have been tested and adapted there will be promotion of the 211 line with seniors and stakeholders, likely in spring of 2014. This project is one that started with some initial work led by ESCC and then migrated under the Age Friendly Edmonton initiative to a joint project of ESCC and the Support Network. To see more about Age Friendly Edmonton you can visit the City of Edmonton website

Outreach Project
The last e-newsletter described the full range of outreach services as being case finding, assessment services, information and referral, case management, service development/system advocacy and community engagement/community building. Instead of the full range needing to be offered by an organization, the steering committee will recommend that the majority of those services needed to be provided by an outreach program. The terms of reference of both the steering committee and the ED/Designate group were revised to reflect that change.

Given the June 2014 deadline, the work plan was further prioritized by the steering committee; high priority items are:
  • Creating an outreach manual that includes a set of standard forms, tools and resources
  • Explore how best to reach isolated/at risk seniors.
The project steering committee has reviewed and provided feedback to the project coordinator on an intake form and a detailed assessment form, along with four chapters of an outreach manual. The detailed assessment form (or the equivalent agency form) is now being used by agencies that have agreed to enter into partnership with the Support Network with regard to referrals from the 211 telephone line. These referrals may occur when a senior contacts 211 and requires more support and assessment than simply a provision of information or quick referral to a service provider. The detailed assessment form will continue to be refined as outreach workers use it and provide feedback.

The steering committee will meet again early in the New Year to plan a meeting with executive directors/designates, at which time the forms and initial chapters of the manual will be brought forward for consideration/approval. In addition to the high priority items, the project will focus on  reviewing current sector outreach service boundaries, identifying a range of competencies for an outreach program and exploring the promotion of effective communication methods for seniors to access outreach services.

Seniors Snow Removal Coordination Project
ESCC has been working with a number of stakeholders to explore more coordinated models of snow removal for seniors.   Anne Smith has facilitated these meetings to come up with a model to use a blend of district community engagement and volunteer service together with coordination of some fee-for-service referrals to a central registry. The group is now working on describing what the role of a district would be. The next step would be to explore how many districts would be needed and then begin discussions with organizations to see if they would be interested/willing to take on that role for the fall of 2014.  We will be asking agencies to collect specific data to help to illustrate the demand for the services. This will be useful when we are ready to describe the model being proposed through a business plan along with forecasts of costs.

Creative Age Edmonton
Creative Age Edmonton has hired an arts outreach coordinator to bring artists and senior sector program/service providers together to enhance opportunities for older adults to benefit from engagement in the arts. Watch for more details in early 2014.

"The Sculptor" a portrait of Keith Turnbull by James Parker. Photo Exhibit during the 2013 Creative Age Festival

Edmonton Seniors Council
Edmonton Seniors Council
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