The Senior Social Inclusion Community Action Forum (SSICAF) is a network of concerned and knowledgeable individuals that work together to reduce senior social isolation in Ottawa through short term plans and long-term strategies. Its objectives are to:
- Explore and deepen the understanding of senior social isolation, as well as its causes and consequences, in Ottawa;
- Mobilize and disseminate knowledge, insight, promising practices, strategies, and ideas to reduce senior social isolation;
- Encourage members and the broader community to bring a senior social isolation lens to their work;
- Identify where there is momentum and opportunity for action;
- Build local capacity to collectively address senior social isolation; and
- Support the development of working groups to develop and implement actionable plans to address gaps in supports to seniors and to dismantle barriers to seniors’ social inclusion.
Over the course of the next year, we will engage local seniors and members of the Forum in a series of exercises intended to help us reach our objectives. Two types of activities are planned:
- A series of consultations with seniors, which will guide and inform the work of the Forum;
- A series of Forum meetings, where we have planned a sequence of collective planning activities, each of which will build on the last. These activities will include:
- Creating a shared base of personal understanding about senior social isolation
- Mapping the system of supports that affect seniors’ ability to remain connected
- Identifying existing initiatives and opportunities to support seniors’ ability to connect, and gaps in these supports.
- Prioritising areas that are most in need of action for maximum impact
- Forming Community Action Working Groups and deciding on the next steps.
Working Groups will be focussing on:
- Publication of a magazine in Spring 2018
- Providing educational sessions on topics related to social isolation/inclusion
- Education in the wider community
- Awareness through media
Keeping Ottawa Seniors Connected brochure
Spectrum offers brochures in many languages
Community Forum – Fostering Social Inclusion
an interactive, half-day, in-depth program on World Hello Day, 2017, during which:
Kiran Rabheru, MD, FRCPC, Geriatric Psychiatrist discussed the impact of social isolation on seniors’ health, based on his many years “in the trenches.”
Trudy Medcalf, PhD, Gerontologist facilitated a discussion on practical ways to care. Participants were actively engaged in developing simple strategies to personally foster social inclusion in their everyday interactions with seniors.