Seniors’ Leadership & Community Recreation Program: An Innovative Program That Supports Aging-In-Place

As we live longer, into our third and fourth seasons, we can anticipate many transitions and changes — roles, identity, relationships and friendships, residential, and physical health changes.

Wellness and social programs want to assist older adults to remain in the community for as long as possible yet few programs include seniors themselves as agents of their own well-being. Most often seniors are expected to be passive recipients of care.

The Seniors’ Leadership & Community Recreation Program uses a community development approach to mobilize the skills and experience of seniors themselves to plan, develop and lead events and programs in their apartment buildings and condominiums. There are many proven benefits: meeting new people and making friends with other seniors living in their building, experiencing creative, pleasurable and meaningful activities, learning about community resources and programs, discussing solutions to their day-to-day problems and supporting each other when needed.

This program has been shown to be an effective means of creating self-help networks that reduce social isolation, boredom and depression. This is especially important for those who have moved or downsized from a house into apartment and condo buildings which do little to help new tenants meet their neighbours and connect with their community. Active engagement in life reduces social isolation and helps to prevent unnecessary visits to doctors’ offices and hospital emergency rooms. This program can postpone and sometimes prevent avoidable nursing home placement. Community building among seniors improves their quality of life while reducing the need for health services.

Experienced as professional staff delivering this program and as a consultant to social service and health agencies offering it to its clients, I can provide both knowledge and process in how to operationalize the program, address challenges, and ensure program success for the participants, their community and all stakeholders.

Contact me to learn more and discuss how to bring the Seniors’ Leadership and Community Recreation Program to your community.