In the spring of 2016, the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS) began with funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. Seven not-for-profit organizations received funding for three years to launch a collective impact initiative that would reduce social isolation of seniors.
Although funding for the PEGASIS projects ended in April 2019, additional funding until February 2020 is allowing us to continue to address some of the key issues identified during PEGASIS and begin multi-sector coordinated planning to find ongoing ways to prevent and reduce seniors isolation.
The group is now called Connecting Edmonton Seniors and has evolved and expanded to include people and organizations who are interested in the social determinants of health and ensuring that we all have social connections that contribute to healthy aging.
We’re helping to build a community where seniors feel more valued and respected, and where their safety and well-being is actively supported.
By addressing a range of factors that may lead to social isolation, PEGASIS and now Connecting Edmonton Seniors, is encouraging and promoting healthy connections and building networks among seniors, caregivers, and communities.
Seniors are our core reason for existing. Our ideal is that every senior has strong social connections to support their health and wellness.
Through a collaborative approach, we’re striving to see an overall reduction in the number of low resource seniors who feel isolated in the Edmonton region.
The PEGASIS Project was a collaborative made up of seven partner organizations, all working towards the reduction of isolation among seniors in Edmonton.
Each member of the PEGASIS Collaborative addressed social isolation through projects and programming within their own organizations.
Provides affordable assisted transportation to eligible seniors to help maintain their mobility, independence and overall well-being. Volunteer drivers provide door-thru-door rides 7-days a week, days and evenings, for medical appointments, shopping, and recreational outings.
A seniors’ centre from the comfort of home! Provides free, interactive telephone-based opportunities to socialize, learn new skills, and stay connected. Offers a new series of participant-selected topics every four months. Open to seniors aged 55+ living anywhere in Alberta with toll-free line. No referral required.
On-site staff support resident seniors in navigating and connecting to community programs and services so they can participate in and contribute to their communities.
Sage’s PEGASIS project focused on Specialized Outreach and Case Finding. They provided person-centered case management for complex cases, participated in case finding activities to encourage identification of isolated seniors, and supported community initiatives to reduce barriers contributing to/resulting from isolation.
The project undertaken by Westend Seniors Activity Centre increased awareness of seniors programs, services and support available at seniors centres through a marketing campaign.
Provided English language classes and assistance outside of the classroom to facilitate immigrant seniors’ use of resources and services within the community, increasing their confidence and ability to independently participate in community.
ESCC served as a backbone for the PEGASIS collaborative by engaging community stakeholders and providing coordination and evaluation support to the initiative.
ESCC continues to lead strategic discussions about the needs and opportunities for better serving seniors in our communities. This work involves addressing barriers faced by people as they age and helping everyone make appropriate connections that support healthy aging.
ESCC’s goal is to sustain a broad network of people and organizations intentionally collaborating to improve quality of life for Edmonton seniors.
PEGASIS and Connecting Edmonton Seniors Backgrounder (November 2019)
Learn more about the projects and how they adapted to reach more seniors by reviewing the slides and audio recording from an October 2018 conversation with the initiative’s funder – Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.
In 2015, the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program called for proposals from across the country to reduce social isolation of seniors. In early 2016, nine projects across Canada were awarded funding. The Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS) is one of the projects. Other projects are:
Nanaimo Seniors Connect
Hamilton Seniors Isolation Impact Plan
The ENRICHES Collaborative and the Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers project in Toronto
Keeping Ottawa Seniors Connected