Being connected in caring, supportive relationships is an important part of living a good life. Yet too many in our communities are socially isolated, which can have significant impacts on a person’s health and quality of life.
For seniors in particular, social isolation can cause a greater risk of poor health than factors such as obesity and physical inactivity.
Allies in Aging is a collective impact initiative to reduce seniors’ social isolation in our communities. Nearly 30 partner organizations are working together to connect seniors to supports and services. Projects include leadership programs, outreach, transportation initiatives, training programs and advocacy.
Taking a collective impact approach means we commit to a common agenda, share an evaluation approach, and provide extensive cross-project support. We also benefit from having an independent “backbone” team to support coordination, communication and collaboration.
PLAN has been grateful to be part of this work, including the fun and interactive presentation Jule and Rebecca gave about building Personal Support Networks on June 18. Each participant walked away with a clearly written action plan about how having a Personal Support Network can make a make a difference to their loved ones. This is especially true in the areas of friends and relationships, empowered decision-making, a place to call home, financial stability and community contribution.