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Posted by on Nov 2015 in All Stories, Member Support | 0 comments

Tenant engagement strategies for seniors

two older womenSocial isolation is one of the most important concerns facing Canada’s senior population. According to the National Seniors Council, the greatest factors for causing social isolation in seniors are:

  • living alone;
  • being age 80 or older;
  • having compromised health status, including having multiple chronic health problems;
  • having no children or contact with family;
  • lacking access to transportation;
  • living with low income; and,
  • changing family structures, younger people migrating for work and leaving seniors behind, and location of residence (e.g. urban, rural and remote).

Seniors who live in subsidized housing are often more vulnerable to the factors that cause social isolation. As such, they can benefit greatly from tenant engagement and community-building programs that help reduce their risk of social isolation. Some ideas include:

  • regular tenant association meetings
  • the use of common areas as spaces for clubs and organized or casual social gatherings
  • a community garden
  • monthly potlucks or afternoon tea events
  • group arts and crafts programs
  • encouraging tenants to keep active by starting a walking club; arranging for transportation to pools or parks
  • posting sign-up sheets for classes or programs at local community centres
  • hosting monthly movie nights in a common area; have the tenants vote on which films they’d like to see
  • creating a calendar of community events and workshops that are within walking distance

Tenant involvement can be key in building healthy, happy communities. For a senior who lacks mobility or requires assistance engaging with neighbours, it can be a vital lifeline to the community and a crucial service that drastically improves their quality of life.

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