SPHERU Undertakes Collective Impact Evaluation Around Social Isolation

Researchers from SPHERU have been working with a number of community based organizations in the province to examine the impact of collective action in reducing the social isolation of older adults in southern Saskatchewan.

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) the project supports the efforts of the Alzheimer's Association of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism, to reduce social isolation through population level interventions aimed at creating Dementia Friendly communities and Age Friendly communities. In addition, the Red Cross of Saskatchewan has received funding for its Friendly Visitor program and the Life Long Learning Centre at the UofR has been working on an inventory of activities aimed at reducing social isolation of older adults.

 The SPHERU team, led by Bonnie Jeffery (Social Work) and including Nuelle Novik (Social Work) and Tom McIntosh (PAIS), have been funded to support and evaluate the impact of these groups working collectively (rather than independently) in the delivery of these interventions. The hope being that collaboration amongst these kinds of interventions can magnify and increase their impact.

 Over the course of their work so far, the group has produced a number of documents that have helped shed light on the nature and extent of social isolation of older adults in the province, including:

1. Collective impact evaluation logic model

2. SK Seniors Impact Survey

3. SK Community Perspectives Survey

4. Aging Well on the Prairies - Community Connections event

In the spring of 2019 the team, along with the partner organizations, will host a Community-Policy Maker Summit to discuss the results of the evaluation and steps for future policy action in this area.

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