Support seniors who face the health impacts of isolation with links to social and recreational opportunities
Alliance for Healthier Communities and Older Adult Centers’ Association of Ontario partner on a new project to fight against loneliness and the impact of measures in the event of a pandemic
TORONTO, June 14, 2021 / CNW / – The echo pandemic. A growing tsunami of mental health and addiction issues. Isolation epidemic. Unraveling of the social fabric. Very busy helplines. Whatever name we give it, whatever the title of the headlines, evidence abounds of the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental and physical well-being of people, and the significance of the challenges that will result from it. as we emerge from the acute stages of the spread of the deadly virus. Among older people, there is a growing awareness that measures taken to protect older people from the virus – isolation, lack of physical contact, loss of common gathering spaces, use of unknown technology – have also had an impact. adverse consequences on their mental, cognitive and physical health. , and will require deliberate and coordinated actions at the local level to help people reconnect – to services, to the community and to each other. Solutions, designed and implemented hyper-locally, will need to be innovative, responsive to the needs of the population, and intensive enough to match the level of isolation and disconnection that people have faced and continue to face.
This is why we are delighted to share with you that the Alliance for Healthier Communities, which has led the way with our member health organizations in introduce social prescription as a concept to Ontario, is in partnership with the Older Adult Centers’ Association of Ontario (OACAO). The partnership is called Links2Well-being, a project designed to help connect socially isolated seniors with community programs and services offered by Seniors Active Living Centers (SALC) through Ontario, available from primary health care providers. Doctors and nurse practitioners, alongside other providers, will work over the three-year project to further develop the framework by which they ‘prescribe’ and refer older people to a range of personalized, non-clinical services available through the clinic. through their local center for active life for the elderly. .
The social prescribing process recognizes that not all health and wellness needs are primarily of a medical nature, and the social prescribing process aims to meet people’s needs in a holistic way. For older people emerging from the pandemic, these sustained connections to community services are essential to ensure that people can once again truly have more control over their own health and well-being.
“During our pilot social prescribing program, we found that people were really able to co-create and connect with programs and supports that dramatically decreased their sense of loneliness. With Links2Wellbeing, we hope to build on it. of what we have learned and focus on connecting older people to their communities in new ways, with a heightened sense of belonging. ”
– Sarah hobbs, CEO, Alliance for Healthier Communities
“Our experience with social prescribing has demonstrated the benefits of referring older people to their local Seniors Active Living Centers (SALCs). They meet with a volunteer peer to determine which programs interest them the most. It is empowering to make these decisions while creating a strong sense of belonging in their communities. Given the levels of isolation we have witnessed over the past year, it is essential that we listen carefully to our elders.
– Sue Hesjedahl, Director General, Association of Centers for the Elderly Ontario
SOURCE Alliance for Healthier Communities
For More Information: To find out more about Links2Wellbeing, the health organizations and Seniors Active Living Centers involved, or to schedule an interview with the project managers and organizers of your article or segment, please contact: Jason Rehel, Alliance for Healthier Communities, [email protected] 416-817-9518