Outreach Ambassadors (an Allies in Aging project) reach out to isolated seniors and help them to make valuable and enduring community connections. Outreach Ambassadors are trained to identify and approach older adults in their neighbourhoods who appear lonely. These volunteers frequent coffee shops, libraries, parks and other public spaces, but will approach seniors they see in the course of their regular routines too. The volunteers, who wear identification badges, strike up a conversation and provide information when appropriate about community services. They will also offer to accompany the senior to a community event and ensure they make connections.
Brochure: SOAP Training Brochure
Best Practices: From a Shared Learning Event
The Shared Learning Event was hosted by the Welcoming Seniors’ Spaces and the HUB (Allies in Aging Collaborative) and attended by about 60 agency staff and volunteers. The goal of the event was to learn from each other about (1) ”best” outreach practices, (2) what would enhance the volunteer experience and (3) what creates welcoming Seniors’ Spaces.
The Peer to Peer Support Program Manual
The Peer to Peer Support Program was developed by the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) with a contribution by the Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). The objective was to reduce social isolation by connecting seniors to seniors through a program that recruited, screened, trained, and matched active and highly skilled seniors, called Mentors with isolated seniors, called Partners. A pilot program was conducted to test the program. Evaluations completed by Mentors and Partners were used to make improvements. This manual is based on that experience and is intended to help other senior serving agencies develop similar programs in order to contribute to building community capacity.
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Nanaimo Life-Line Check-In services
The mission of the Nanaimo Lifeline Check-In Services is to provide a support link for at-risk individuals, ultimately enhancing peace of mind for both clients and their families. We also aim to support seniors in the community by maintaining a social connection and referring individuals to resources and events within the community. Subscribers to this service receive friendly, daily, or prescheduled phone calls made by trained volunteers and staff members. These calls not only help to alleviate anxiety through the assurance that someone is calling, but also keeps the client socially connected. Social Isolation is a growing concern and is associated with a number of health risks. Nanaimo Lifeline believes that an inclusive community is a healthy community.
The phone call interaction between the client and caller can be tailored to individual needs. As an example, some clients need a reminder as to what day of the week it is, or some just need to chat about their pet, the latest news story, or sports event. Regardless of the topic, both the person receiving the call and the person making the call feel the benefit of that social interaction. Nanaimo Lifeline Check-In services offer short term, caregiver relief, or long term options. We are a part of Nanaimo Lifeline’s personal response & support services and are owned by the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation.
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