Seniors are at the centre of everything we do. Part of keeping our work relevant to and focused on the needs of seniors is taking the time to listen and hear the stories that people with years of lived experience have to offer. By heeding the voices of community members—in this case seniors—we are better poised to develop effective, targeted solutions to the complex problem of social isolation.
The upcoming Vision 2030 for Seniors Services Symposium presents a unique opportunity to hear the stories of seniors with lived experience of social isolation. The Connecting Edmonton Seniors initiative [an outcome of the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS)] is presenting a pre-conference session that will highlight our focused efforts to reach out to those who are largely unseen and unheard, living in marginalized communities or are low-resourced and isolated. We are creating safe spaces for them to gather and share their thoughts, their opinions, and their stories of challenges and triumphs.
We will bring some of those stories to the Listening to the Voices of Lived Experience pre-conference session to be heard and honoured by community, business, health, academic and political leaders and stakeholders. We hope the stories shared will provide new perspectives on the challenges and barriers experienced by seniors in our community.
The Voices of Lived Experience pre-conference session runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12. Space is limited.
Other organizations have published reports on marginalized communities and their experience of social isolation which are relevant to the conversation at the Voices of Lived Experience event.
- Determinants of Social Capital and Differential Success: Building a Better Life Booklet (NorQuest College and Edmonton Public Library, 2018)
- Social Isolation of Indigenous Seniors (Edmonton Social Planning Council, 2019)
- The Age of Wisdom: Giving Voice to Edmonton’s Immigrant Seniors and Identifying Their Needs (Age Friendly Edmonton, 2015)
- The Muslim senior study: Needs for healthy aging Muslim communities in Edmonton, Alberta (Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, 2018)