Building Block: Personal, Social, and System Connectedness

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Click here to apply this building block to dementia

Older adults, organizations, and the greater community are all connected and interdependent. Collaboration and partnering between all community members makes our communities stronger. Personal, social, and system connectedness:
  • builds meaningful partnerships between older adults and service providers
  • recognizes that all older adults are partners in their own care
  • partnerships between service providers to create a responsive system to meet the changing needs of older adults
Website Tips
  • In your community conversations, remember the five guiding principles and how they are important to consider when identifying your community/organizations strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Click one of the questions in the blue rows for a drop down list of tips and strategies.
  • For a real world example of the principles in practice, click the Success Story icon at the bottom of the page.

Build Meaningful Partnerships Between Older Adults and Service Providers

What opportunities are available for older adults to help in the plan and implement programs and services?

Tips & Strategies

  • Offer volunteer opportunities
  • Involve older adults in groups and on on committees
  • Present proposals, share experiences, and bring forth issues to older adults
  • Invited older adults to participate in council meetings
How do you recruit older adults as partners?

Tips & Strategies

  • Recruit older adults through other local organizations or groups
  • Use multiple ways to enlist older adults such as radio, newspaper, local television, flyers, word of mouth, etc.
  • Recognize the strengths and capabilities of older adults. Actively recruit older adults for volunteer and employment opportunities
How do you ensure that the perspectives of older adults are included in decision-making?

Tips & Strategies

  • Examine processes and policies to ensure that older adults are involved in making decisions
  • Consult with older adults at all stages when planning and developing a program or service
  • Engage older adults in planning and leading programs and services
How do you support active participation of older adults within the partnership?

Tips & Strategies

  • Be creative in developing ways to involve people
  • Ask partners for different ways to communicate with older adults
  • Use a variety of methods to foster involvement, such as teleconferences, face-to-face meetings or going out to groups for consultations
  • Using technology as way to enhance communication, but recognize that not all people use technology the same ways

Create Strong Partnerships Within and Beyond Your Community

How do you connect and share resources with others to address unmet needs of older adults?

Tips & Strategies

  • Organize/support networking, linkages and building partnerships with older adults, other service providers, and policy makers
  • Attend town hall meetings
  • Invite members from other organization to your strategic planning meetings
  • Hold staff meeting and invite persons from other departments
  • Create a budget based on your vision as opposed to standard funding strategies
  • Foster open communication with relevant service providers - i.e. send newsletters, have joint meetings
  • Share stories – successes and challenges
  • Connect with diverse populations for broader perspectives including people with different backgrounds, i.e.: language, religion, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, rural/urban residence
  • Consider offering joint programs with other organizations
  • Advocate for changes needed in policy and funding
How do you connect with policy and decision makers to address unmet needs of older adults?

Tips & Strategies

  • Invite Councillors, the Mayor, the Chief, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) or Member of Parliament (MP) to your next event/program/service
  • Inform key decision makers about events/issues within your organization or community (i.e. send letter, invite them to sit on or chair a committee)
  • Involve funders and decision makers in discussion/process regarding service gaps and provide opportunities for them to meet the needs
How do you connect and share of resources with other geographic communities or regions?

Tips & Strategies

  • Collaborate with other communities to share ideas/enhance your initiatives, programs (i.e. attend an annual general meeting, community’s advisory or council meeting)
  • Explore age friendly initiatives in other communities
  • Research areas on the internet and connect with others who have similar issues
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