Calgary Seniors' Resource Society
Our Story Why We Exist
This is Frank. Frank is 80 years old and lives alone with no family. It was his bank who first noticed that Frank was in trouble. Over the course of a year he has lost $21,000 in scam emails, calls and letters. The bank representative that Frank dealt had completed the online SeniorConnect training that we offer at Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society. It only takes about 30 minutes, but it teaches participants how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a senior who may need assistance. As a result of the training, the bank knew to call the Seniors’ Help Line and report their concerns.
As a result of that call, a SeniorConnect social worker was dispatched to Frank’s house and completed an assessment. The social worker made several referrals for Frank and he now has a proper diagnosis (he is in the early stages of dementia), proper medication, a trustee, and a home care team.
Frank is also now an Escorted Transportation client of Calgary Seniors, as he can no longer drive. This completes the circle as Frank’s volunteer driver is also SeniorConnect Connector and can work in conjunction with his social work team to ensure Frank thrives.”
Many of our client’s stories involved more serious issues, such as elder abuse, addiction, metal health and economic circumstances. These are seniors who are the most vulnerable and require our entire community to support them.
Our Impact in 2014:
- Volunteer Services saw 309 new clients.
- 500 volunteers contributed over 45,000 hours of service to seniors.
- 1,548 Escorted Transportation appointments were completed, covering 80,000 km.
- We provided long-term case support to 245 seniors and responded to 216 seniors requiring urgent response and crisis management.
- Calgary Seniors provided education to over 2000 people in the community on the risks and dangers some seniors face as they age.
Our Impact What We Do
What makes our approach so unique is that we support seniors to live independently in the community to the greatest extent possible by combining social work and volunteer programs that work in conjunction with each other. This means we can not only help in a crisis, but we follow-up with long-term support.
In addition to social work support with critical needs like housing, pension & benefit applications, etc., Calgary Seniors also provides companionship and social support through our volunteer programs like Friendly Visiting, Escorted Transportation, Pet Assist and Adopt a Grandparent.
Our Programs How We Do It
Calgary Seniors helps seniors, generally in the age range of 65+, remain independent at home. We end senior isolation in our city as our clients have little or no family or friends in the city able or willing to assist them. Some of our clients are of an income level that they cannot afford to pay for services from for-profit organizations providing similar programs. If you or someone you love meets these eligibility requirements or wish to discuss your eligibility further with our staff please read on to learn about the programs and services we offer.
Christmas Cheer Up Our annual Christmas program ensures isolated seniors do not spend the holidays alone. With a stockingfull of gifts and a visit from a volunteer over the holiday season we bring joy and caring to a senior’s home to let them know they are not forgotten.
Spring Clean Up/Fall Fix Up Spring Clean Up engages volunteer groups to help seniors with cleaning and light landscaping projects around their home. Fall Fix Up ensures seniors who need small renovation projects completed get the help they need.Working with corporate partners and local home builders we ensure that all renovations are completed by trained professionals. These projects help maintain seniors’ homes, keep them safe and inspire pride in our communities.
Friendly Visiting Our companionship program matches a senior with a caring volunteer who visits once a week for an hour. Thistime spent together greatly reduces the senior’s isolation and creates a wonderful relationship that is mutually beneficial.
Assisted Shopping Seniors are matched with a volunteer who takes them shopping for groceries and other critical items every twoweeks. The volunteers provide more than transportation, helping the senior as they shop and with putting awaytheir items when they return home. As well as offering critical transportation for the senior, the program also offers social support. These bi-weekly visits are something they look forward to as a wonderful opportunity to spend time witha friend.
Telephone Reassurance Seniors are matched one on one with a volunteer who will phone regularly at an agreed upon time to provide afriendly voice, willing ear and of course, peace of mind that someone will be checking in.
Escorted Transportation Seniors are provided with round trip, arm in arm rides to medical appointments from volunteers. It offers seniorswho have no other options a way to access critical medical support, which otherwise they would have to go without. The senior pays a $10 gas recovery fee for every ride.
Pet Assist The correlation between a high quality of life and owning a pet cannot be underestimated, a need that is often overlooked. This program provides volunteers to assist isolated and low income seniors with their pet care needs. This might include weight management, exercise, monitoring medication and other treatment and providing support during and after vet visits.
Take Care Be Aware! The focus of Take Care, Be Aware! Is to educate seniors about the realities of fraud and financial abuse, and what steps they can take to protect themselves. Using a “seniors helping seniors” model, volunteers will present information on current frauds, red flags to watch for, tips for prevention and host an interactive conversation with the group.
Information and Referral Seniors and their families can call Calgary Seniors for information and referrals to community resources andservices available to them in Calgary. We provide a wide array of programs and if we do not offer the service youneed we can connect you with the people who will.
Outreach Our team of Outreach workers provides services to seniors and their families who live in the north east and upper south east areas of Calgary. Our workers provide information and long-term support while connecting seniors to the services and resources that they need in order to remain independent and active within in their community. Outreach services may include helping the senior with:
- Applying for eligible financial benefits;
- Applying for suitable housing and transportation;
- Accessing Home Care and mobility aids;
- Supporting mental health and access for treatment;
- Elder Abuse education and support;
- Preventing and reducing Isolation and Loneliness;
- Caregiver support;
- Supportive Counselling.
SeniorConnect The SeniorConnect program offers a channel for concerned citizens to take action on behalf of a senior who may be at risk, or in crisis, in the community. Through community mobilization, SeniorConnect, and the Distress Centre 24-hr help line, allows for a timely referral and follow-up from a registered social worker who begins working with the senior to address immediate concerns, stabilize a crisis, and secure ongoing community supports.Free education on how to identify a senior who may be at risk is available online at: seniorconnectcalgary.org or by contacting Calgary Seniors.
Our Requests What You Can Do
Volunteer We would not be able to do our work without the support of hundreds of passionate and dedicated volunteers across the city. We have volunteer positions to suit every schedule, and offer a hands on opportunity to make a real difference in the life a senior who needs it. Programs that are always looking for volunteers include:
- Assisted Shopping
- Escorted Transportation
- Friendly Visiting
- Telephone Reassurance
- Pet Assist
- Special ProjectsDonate
Donate Why donate? Seniors are the fastest growing demographic in our city. In 15 years seniors will outnumber youth for the first time in our history. We already struggle to provide seniors with medical care, housing, transportation andsocial support and these problems will only grow as the population doubles in less than 2 decades. Our programs help relieve stress on our medical and social systems, keep seniors safely at home where they want to be and save thetax payers money.
Calgary Seniors is a registered charity that relies on the support of our community to continue our hard work. You are welcome to log on to our website or call our offices to make a donation, which will be used to support ourprograms and help us reach our goal of helping seniors in Calgary remain safely independent for as long as possible. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for all gifts.