Senior Community Outreach 2019
James Bay New Horizons and Silver Threads Service
Connecting with Seniors in Greater Victoria
Silver Threads Service and James Bay New Horizons have been working in partnership on a project first piloted in the Fall of 2015 involving seniors. The concept is simple. An Outreach Worker meets with seniors where they live to make connections, listens to concerns and informs seniors of available services to help them remain independent.
The results of the initial three-month pilot funded by a City of Victoria Strategic Planning Grant surpassed our expectations with coffee parties being held in 24 locations and connections made with 110 seniors. Some of the issues identified included cost of living, housing, food, utilities, health and wellness and transportation. A significant concern is loneliness and lack of social connections. Thanks to continued funding from the City of Victoria and a grant from the Provincial Government, the project continued for a second year (2016-17) in Victoria and expanded into Saanich for a second round July 2016 to March 2017. The results were equally impressive, with 64 coffee parties held and connections made with over 300 more seniors. This brought the totals of this initiative to 88 events and 410 seniors contacted.
In 2018 staff hosted 42 information sessions. To date a total of 750 seniors have been reached. Jo-Anne Silverman coordinated the pilot project and it is due to her dedication that the program is so well established.
According to recent census data 18% of Victorians are 65 years and older. We also know that 47% of this age group live alone. The Canadian Community Health Survey reports that 14% of seniors living on southern Vancouver Island have no one to turn to for help. Social isolation affects the psychological and cognitive health of seniors. It is associated with higher levels of depression and suicide.
We thank the City of Victoria for funding the project ongoing and are pleased to be able to expand with funding from the United Way Greater Victoria beginning in November 2017. See http://uwgv.ca/funding-isolated-seniors-announced-oct-1/
The Outreach Team will be hosting sessions in apartment buildings and other gathering places to meet with new folks. For those we have already met, we will be conducting check in calls to see how things are going and if we can help connect you to any resources you might need.
- To connect seniors to resources to improve their quality of life
(Including subsidy programs that include SAFER, Fair Pharmacare, bc211)
- To connect seniors to services to improve their quality of life
(Senior Centres, Homecare, Handy DART)
- To connect seniors to their neighbours
In the summer of 2019 a bus program was initiated in response to the need for transportation, and to have social outings that are accessible and affordable.
To connect with an Outreach Worker or for more information on this initiative please contact:
Susan Bauer, Outreach Worker
Phone: (250) 889-9236
James Bay New Horizon
Phone: (250) 386-3035
For information sessions, information and referral contact:
Sophie Nielsen, Outreach Worker
Phone: (250) 889-5501
For information on Bus Trips please contact:
Phone: (250) 889-4430
Silver Threads Service
Phone: (250) 382-3151
– or email us using the form below –
For after hour emergencies (evenings/weekends) please call bc211