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Funding to assist seniors’ social isolation concerns

Margaret Werkhoven, left, representing the Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation, presents $25,000 to Debbie MacDonald Moynes, executive director of The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association.

Prince Edward County seniors are among older adults from across the province to benefit from Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation funding to address social isolation issues.

“Social isolation is a major contributor to poor health of older adults,” said Joanne Murphy, Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors. “That is why it is a priority area for us to fund local community projects with potential to be replicated in other communities across Canada.”

Debbie MacDonald Moynes, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association received $25,000 in funding to be used toward a planned series of presentations at nine municipal halls and at the Community Care office on King Street in Picton.

With the help of police, fire, paramedics, rural mail couriers and staff in the County’s library branches, isolated seniors will be identified and invited to participate.

The sessions involve community partners – PEC Fire Department, PE Detachment of the OPP, Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services, Rural Mail Couriers (CUPW), Public Libraries of PEC and the PE Family Health Team.

They will also be evaluating and promoting programs such as Mail Couriers Alert, and the Home Alone Program formerly managed by the OPP. Students will also be engaged at the presentations to participate in the social time.

Click here for more on programs and services at the PEC Community Care for Seniors.

Funds were also distributed to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph and Everdale Environmental Learning Centre where a micro-farm will be built to bring together seniors and youth to grow fresh organic fruits and vegetables and then collaboratively choose innovative ways to share the harvest with the community.

The Council on Aging of Ottawa and community partners – Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre, Ottawa Senior Pride Network, and United Way Ottawa and two local high schools will host a multimedia classroom activity to produce a series of bilingual videos showing the life experiences of older adults who face social isolation as a result of their health and/or disabilities, sexual orientation and culture.

Neighbourhood Watch London, Centre for Health Equity and Social Inclusion-Western University and community partner London Middlesex Housing Corporation will use funding to engage residents of a rent-geared-to-income seniors’ apartment building as co-researchers to address questions and shared issues that are significant to them related to social connectedness, engagement and inclusion.

The Retired Teachers of Ontario Foundation was established in 2011 with the support of its founding benefactor, the Retired Teachers of Ontario, and inspired by the philanthropic spirit of retired teachers and other members of the education community.

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