Volunteer Training Modules
Training can help volunteers and service providers better identify seniors who are isolated, understand their needs, and connect them with appropriate services and resources. Many of the training modules below will connect you with resources you can download to conduct interactive workshops for volunteers and staff who work with seniors. For each module, we also highly recommend Fact Sheets on Risk Factors affecting Social Isolation of Seniors, such as Caregiver Burnout, Physical Health, Mental Health, Low Income, Life Transitions and Linguistic and Cultural Barriers.
Exploring Risk Factors
Learn how vitally important social connections are to seniors’ wellbeing, and examine barriers faced by seniors that put them at risk of social isolation. Identify valuable ways to support seniors to build and maintain their social connections.
Anxiety and Stress
Learn about our innate need for social connection, and explore the correlation between social isolation and anxiety, stress and physical health. Identify tools and resources to help minimize stress. Following are several recommended on-line resources:
This fact sheet includes common causes for caregiver isolation and caregiver burnout and suggestions to help caregivers maintain social connections.
Hone your active listening skills as you explore boundaries and roadblocks to effective communication. Identify strategies to strengthen your ability to communicate and connect with seniors.
Learn ways to communicate and connect with a senior who has dementia. Learn about the disease, how the brain is affected, and the ways dementia affects communication. Following are several recommended on-line resources:
Personalized Dementia Solutions Inc
Exploring Depression & Delirium
Explore ways to better support older adults experiencing, or at risk of depression. Learn how living alone in old age can contribute to loneliness and depression. Examine how delirium can arise with depression, affecting a senior’s health and quality of life. Following are several recommended on-line resources:
Exploring Diversity & Inclusion
Explore how we’re affected by power and privilege and learn about linguistic and cultural barriers that contribute to seniors’ isolation. Strengthen your ability to support seniors in the face of these barriers.
Moving Through Grief & Loss
Identify the central needs of those who are mourning. Learn about the physical and emotional reactions of grief and explore helpful ways to support a senior who is grieving.
Preparing for End of Life
Build your awareness of emotional and spiritual needs that arise when living with a life threatening illness. Explore your own personal thoughts on death and dying and expand your capacity to provide emotional support to a senior facing a life-limiting illness. Following are several highly recommended on-line resources:
Canadian Virtual Hospice – Information and support on palliative and end of life care, loss and grief.
At LivingMyCulture.ca, people from various cultures share their stories and wisdom about living with serious illness, end of life and grief to support others.