A new collaborative initiative is being implemented in Vancouver to help prevent and reduce social isolation among seniors. The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, made the announcement today.
Four organizations, the Burnaby Community Services Society, the South Burnaby Neighbourhood House Society, the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and Family Services of the North Shore, are combining efforts to reduce the social isolation of seniors aged 75+ in the Metro Vancouver area, with a focus on seniors living with disabilities, seniors who have low resources and/or seniors who face language or cultural barriers. Through initiatives led by each of the organizations, local seniors will have a range of supports, including increased access to transportation, Welcoming Spaces sites for social activities and connection to services in their native language, and community Senior Hubs Training events for volunteers and service providers who work with seniors that will help them better identify, understand and connect socially isolated seniors with resources.
The plan aims to increase the number of socially isolated seniors who receive support and help when needed, who participate regularly in activities, and who feel connected to their communities. To achieve success, each organization will also bring together a mix of community partners to help execute activities, measure results, leverage resources and implement improvements throughout the duration of the projects.
The Government of Canada partnered with Innoweave (an initiative of the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation) to join forces with these organizations to reduce social isolation among seniors by investing $2.5 million in these projects through its New Horizons for Seniors Program.