Allies in Aging
Allies in Aging collaborates to connect seniors across our communities through leadership, outreach, transportation, training and advocacy.
From 2016 to 2019 over thirty organizations worked together to connect 14,000+ seniors to supports and services. Our vision is for seniors to have support and help when they need it, to be able to participate regularly in activities, to feel connected to family, friends and acquaintances, and to feel valued by people in their lives.
Allies in Aging used a collective impact approach to reach and connect with seniors. Our focus was on seniors who are at risk of isolation due to disability, low income, language or cultural barriers. Partners committed to a common agenda, strategic alignment, shared evaluation and constant communication, with support from a backbone team.
Building connections across communities and agencies strengthened skills, capacity and relationships, which inspired innovative program ideas, influenced connection strategies and created a support network for staff, volunteers and program participants.
(Allies in Aging is a collective impact initiative funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.)
Four lead agencies developed neighbourhood-based and regional projects to reduce the impact of key events or situations in a seniors’ life that can limit their social connections and supports. Projects nurtured senior leadership, provided intentional connections and outreach, addressed transportation barriers, strengthened training opportunities and supported advocacy.
The Seniors Hub and Welcoming Seniors’ Spaces worked within a networked service model that brought together senior leaders and community organizations to engage and serve seniors and address barriers to their feeling welcome. Playing a leadership role in planning and governance, seniors developed their capacity to connect seniors and organizations at the neighbourhood level.
Seniors on the Move worked to improve and increase transportation options for seniors. Partners collaborated on the Seniors Transportation 211 Hotline, volunteer driver recruitment, driver transitioning initiatives, and transit expeditions as well as advocacy for systems change.
Volunteer Impact delivered training for volunteers and service providers to better identify older adults who are isolated, understand their needs, and connect them with appropriate services and resources. The Allies in Aging collective impact approach enhanced training through inter- agency collaboration. The growing community demand for peer support, community outreach, in-home visits and cultural sensitivity reflects a continuing need for skilled training opportunities.