Social isolation is a complex issue and addressing it requires community involvement from multiple angles.

Join the change network

If someone asked you to be part of a change network what would you say? That’s a pretty big ask. It’s bold… audacious even. You might be hesitant to jump in.

This is essentially what the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council is asking from the Stewardship Round Table which has emerged from the Connecting Edmonton Seniors initiative.

The Stewardship Round Table is a multi-stakeholder forum for strategic discussions about the needs and opportunities for better serving seniors in our communities. This involves addressing barriers faced by people as they age and helping everyone make appropriate connections that support healthy aging.

The idea of a change network might sound daunting, but at its heart is a group of organizations and people who want to make the experience of aging better for Edmonton seniors and know that system changes need to occur for that to happen.

The longer-term goal of the stewardship group is to sustain a broad network of people and organizations working intentionally together to improve quality of life for Edmonton seniors.

Stewardship tasks

The request of Stewards is to:

  • Provide strategic leadership
  • Participate in systems-level thinking and discussions
  • Identify resources your organization can contribute
  • Leverage your organization’s networks, resources, capacity by sharing them
  • Authorize the use of your organization’s resources
  • Connect partner groups with your organization by sharing information with whomever in your organization can provide relevant input
  • Share the vision and goals for this initiative
  • Support decision making with advice and constructive criticism
  • Contribute to discussions regarding sustaining impacts

Who should be involved

Ideally we’d like to see people from all levels within organizations to be involved because the initiative needs people who are big picture thinkers as well as those who are interested in grass roots actions.

Members of the SRT are being asked to work together at grass roots levels providing services directly to seniors; at neighbourhood and community levels to nurture mutual, caring connections; and they are being asked to work strategically to support social and cultural change that will result in ongoing improvement in services and quality of life for all seniors.

To advance change, this movement needs involvement from organizations within and outside of the seniors sector. We would like to see the following people get involved:

  • Social, political, economic, and academic thinkers and leaders who will lend their attention to the challenges that face us individually and collectively.
  • Elected officials from all orders of government who will to take an interest and get involved.
  • Service providers from all walks of life who will share their knowledge and experience, and continue to work directly with people to help them be connected, resilient, and healthy.
  • Funders who can see the bigger picture and are willing to change the way that we think about our investments in people and communities.
  • Individuals who are willing to give their time and energy to the many different aspects of identifying, understanding, and addressing the challenges and barriers to social inclusion and well-being.

Help make the experience of aging better for Edmonton seniors

We believe a network of people and organizations working together in sustainable, proactive, and mutually-supportive ways will create impactful changes that will improve quality of life for Edmonton seniors and enable them to age well.

We urge you to become part of this change network.

Contact Tim Henderson at tim@seniorscouncil.net to get involved.

Involvement

The Stewardship Round Table meets once a month. If you can’t attend meetings, we encourage you to get on the mailing list because information from the meetings will be shared with you and you can share your thoughts via email or phone.

Other initiatives that aim to reduce social isolation of seniors

Hello, How Are You? (City of Edmonton)

RISE: Reach Isolated Seniors Everywhere (Canada)

Connect2Affect (United States)

Campaign to End Loneliness (United Kingdom)