The Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS) is a collaborative of senior-serving agencies in Edmonton working to develop new ways of supporting seniors to reduce social isolation. By addressing a range of factors that may lead to social isolation, PEGASIS is encouraging and promoting healthy connections and building networks among seniors, caregivers, and communities.
The initiative is in its third year of finding socially-isolated seniors, reaching out to them (making them aware of opportunity), connecting, and matching them to formal and informal supports. Collectively, more than 6000 seniors have been reached with connections to assisted rides, outreach and case interventions, sessions, classes and presentations.
PEGASIS partner organizations are encouraged to adjust their programs and services to respond to evolving needs, and all have examples of adapting to emerging needs and community feedback. In December 2018, the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council gathered the PEGASIS partners so they could share their learnings.
The event also featured a presentation about Edmonton’s proposal for the Smart Cities Challenge. PEGASIS data was used to draft the initial proposal by the City of Edmonton that placed them as one of the top five finalists in the national Smart Cities competition. They are looking to engage seniors across Edmonton and to support their well-being with the application of appropriate technologies. The City of Edmonton is a key partner in the work to reduce isolation and promote social inclusion of seniors, and this was an opportunity to bring these two initiatives publicly together for the first time.