Healthy Aging CORE
Healthy Aging Collaborative Online Resources and Education is a platform to connect community based seniors serving organizations and allied agencies and individuals in Alberta. CORE is designed to provide up-to-date information, resources, and training opportunities and to make it easier to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate in order to help build capacity, strengthen the network, and develop a collective and cohesive voice among volunteers, staff, and others who support healthy aging initiatives.
The development and implementation of Healthy Aging CORE is a response to recommendations made from community partners and stakeholders across the Province. The Community-Based Seniors Serving (CBSS) Sector Engagement Project was undertaken by Age Friendly Calgary, carya, Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council and Sage Seniors Association. These organizations were inspired by the example of the seniors serving sector in British Columbia and believe a made-in Alberta sector has great potential to advance the important work of CBSS organizations in the province.
The project was funded by Alberta Seniors and Housing and was initiated in the spring of 2019 and completed in January 2020. The purpose of the Project was to connect with CBSS organizations across the province to discuss and build upon the assumption that coordinating community-based services for seniors is a critical step in meeting the needs of the growing seniors’ demographic. The Project involved twenty-six conversations with CBSS organizations across the province as a first step to building an “Alberta made” CBSS sector.
Twenty-six Community-Based Seniors (CBSS) Sector Conversations were held between October 22, 2019 and January 8, 2020 as part of the CBSS Sector Engagement Project. Conversations were held in sixteen communities across Alberta and two were held by conference call to support participation from across the province. 187 individuals participated in these Conversations and strong support exists for continuing the conversation and developing a community-based seniors sector in Alberta.
The conversations focused on four key areas:
- Strengths and challenges related to the healthy aging of seniors in the community
- Concerns of organizations as they respond to these strengths and challenges
- Priorities for collaboration to support seniors in their community
- Interest in creating a CBSS sector
The resulting “What We Heard” document presents an overview of the perspectives and themes emerging from these conversations and proposes some next steps for the development of a CBSS sector in Alberta.
Working to support the wellbeing of seniors aging in place has taken on unanticipated dimensions with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. CBSS organizations play a crucial role in supporting seniors through programs and services that address nutrition and food security, home supports, mental health, social isolation, transportation needs, and more. Coordinating our efforts in these areas now can help us to manage the demands of our new conditions and continue to support the health and wellbeing of seniors.
With support from the United Way, the Ministry of Seniors and Housing, Alberta Blue Cross, Alberta Health Services and the Government of Canada, CORE Alberta has been developed. This online platform continues the work of the Community-Based Seniors Serving (CBSS) Sector in Alberta, allowing organizations to share information and establish working groups that help address the challenges emerging from the pandemic.