The Village Collective Impact Project receives grants totaling $150,000 for seniors’ programs in Nipissing – Parry Sound
Jun 15, 2021 | Cindy Males, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
Social isolation and exclusion have negative impacts on the health and quality of life for seniors, and research shows 30% of Canadian seniors are at risk of becoming socially isolated. The Village, the world-class health and wellness facility located at Canadore College, is taking an intergenerational approach to addressing the issue. Funded by the Government of Canada – New Horizons for Seniors Program, The Village Collective Impact Project has distributed $150,000 in grants to a dozen seniors’ organizations to get programming up and running across the region.
Organizations were invited to apply to The Village Collective Impact Project for the funding. Recipients were chosen based on criteria to support the Project having a bigger influence on the experience of seniors in the community.
“Collaborating organizations and seed grant partners will help move our community towards the collective vision of having every senior in our region socially connected and engaged,” said Micheline McWhirter, Project Manager. “Together we can improve the lives of seniors in our region.”
“The Mary Street Centre loves to create meaningful partnerships with others in our community who share our goals and values,” said Rev. Monica Moore of St. James United Church in Parry Sound. The Centre is the community engagement arm of the church, which will provide an indoor walking track for older adults in the area.
“Why a walking track? First, we have the space for it. We estimate that walking 25 laps of our Georgian Bay Hall is equivalent to a mile,” said Rev. Moore. “An indoor walking track will fill an important need for safe and energizing recreation opportunities, as well as giving people a place to congregate when the weather gets icy and cold.”
“We provide care to many older adults in our community with home care services. We see the health care gaps that exist such as system navigation issues, isolation, and family caregiver burnout,” said Lisette Wirta, Home Instead Franchise Owner. “We are very excited to be working in partnership to create an inclusive, free support service centre where any older adult, regardless of diagnosis, is welcome to attend.”
“The purpose of our program is to create a friendly, social, and safe environment for older adults, students, and health care professionals as we plan to include intergenerational activities, music, and community education sessions throughout the 8-week pilot,” Wirta said.
The Village Collective includes many different organizations and businesses. The Moose Cookhouse in North Bay joined the project this winter.
“The Moose is excited about this project as it recognizes the diversity of our community and our customers,” said Chris White, owner of The Moose Cookhouse. “COVID-19 has really highlighted the relationship between social connection and health. Developing age and dementia friendly dining experiences is one small way we can contribute to new models that support seniors.”
“This project is designed to be community driven. We will start by gathering the perspectives of seniors, their families, and caregivers for how we plan our menus, design accessible and comfortable physical spaces, train our staff, and create social events,” said White.
“Canadore College is pleased to see The Village leading the way to develop new models that promote healthy aging,” said President and CEO George Burton. “The Village Collective Impact Project, through collaboration with organizations and agencies in Nipissing and Parry Sound, is bringing that idea to life. Seniors in our region can only benefit from this work.”
The Village is a world-class health and wellness facility that is providing a ground-breaking approach to educating the next generation of Canada’s health and social service professionals. It is the first facility of its kind in Canada and blends Indigenous, Eastern and Western health practices with student-led facilities.
For more information on The Village Collective Impact Project, contact: Micheline McWhirter, Project Manager at Micheline.email@example.com or at 705-358-2829. To register for the summit https://www.canadorecollege.ca/the-village/inter-generational-summit