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.
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 is encouraging and promoting healthy connections and building networks among seniors, caregivers, and communities.
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.
Our name, PEGASIS, carries the following understandings:
Our core group is a small part of all the people and organizations who will need to combine efforts to make a population level collective impact. Many have already been contributing, often for a long time, and we recognize that we stand on their shoulders to bring new energy and resources. Our big-picture success will depend on how well we are able to expand our group to include these other partners and stakeholders.
There are many, many ways to approach our complex issue. Addressing the issue includes multi-level systems thinking; interagency group (collaborative) processes, as well as grassroots level project interventions. Group learning-as-we-go must be supported through built in participatory evaluation activities designed in collaboration with partners.
Social isolation is a complex issue. We understand it to include both quantity and quality of social connections. A multitude of personal health and environmental risk factors may contribute to someone becoming socially isolated. It is a very personal experience which suggests the need for personally tailored (wide choice) interventions.
Seniors are our core reason for existing. Our ideal is that every senior has strong social connections to support their health and wellness.
The PEGASIS Project is 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 is addressing social isolation through projects and programming within their own organizations.
Provides both 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.
Provides opportunities for isolated and homebound seniors to socialize, learn new skills and stay connected through a variety of free, interactive telephone-based social and health programming.
GEF is a leader in friendly, affordable, secure housing and services for seniors. Through our PEGASIS project we support seniors living in our residences (buildings) in navigating and connecting to community programs and services to enhance their quality of life so that they can participate in and contribute to their communities.
Provides city-wide, multi-lingual, door-thru-door, affordable transportation services to low-resource seniors seven days a week, days and evenings for medical appointments, shopping and recreational outings.
Provides person-centred case management, long-term social work support and connections to community resources and services that reduce or eliminate the barriers contributing to and/or resulting from the experience of isolation.
Increases awareness of seniors programs, services and support available at seniors centres through a marketing campaign, and increases seniors’ participation rates in activities thereby increasing their feelings of connectivity and value.
Serves as a backbone for the PEGASIS collaborative by engaging community stakeholders and providing coordination and evaluation support to the initiative.
Learn more about the projects and how they are adapting 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