In 2018, Working Groups (WG) hosted by the UWLM were created to advance key sector and capacity development priorities. These Working Groups focus on five key topics that were identified as priorities based on Raising the Profile outreach, the Healthy Aging Summit, and consultation with various partners and stakeholders. Working Groups are currently seeking new members, particularly those with diverse experiences.
Each group has their own processes, approaches, and expectations for members’ contribution and commitment of time and effort. Typically, members are asked for a one-year commitment, with meetings held quarterly. For more details, contact the respective UWLM Staff lead.
1. Seniors Housing Working Group
Focus: To identify and advocate for comprehensive and affordable housing solutions for seniors in BC who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. This WG is hosting three webinars in 2020 which describe the complex problem of seniors’ homelessness (June 25) and present two possible solutions – modular housing (September 28) and supportive housing (November 25). WG members are closely involved in two housing events – the Seniors Housing Stability Solution Lab’s e-conference of October 21 (which focuses on actions for preventing seniors’ homelessness and supporting low-income senior tenants) and BCNPHA’s Housing Central conference of early December (where the activities and recommendations of the WG will be shared with the community housing sector in BC; and a half-day seminar on low-income senior renters’ issues/solutions is tentatively scheduled).
Formal time commitments for members: 1 ½ hour long meetings each quarter; 1-hour long webinars three times/year; and miscellaneous other meetings related to e-conferences, project-specific activities, etc.
New member recruitment priorities: Members from Northern and Interior BC and Vancouver Island; older adults with lived experience of homelessness; and those with experience or expertise with housing-marginalized groups in the seniors’ population (including First Nations, LGBTQ+, recent immigrants/refugees) and seniors’ homelessness/housing insecurity in rural BC.
Contact: Beverly Pitman - email@example.com
2. Nutritional Supports Working Group
Focus: To integrate seniors into food policy and initiatives and integrate nutritional supports into seniors’ programming, increase the capacity of senior-serving organizations throughout the province to support seniors in improving their nutritional status, and provide a wide range of nutritional supports to seniors in the province. This WG recently conducted a literature review on best practices and existing programs in BC for senior's food security and nutrition, and will be hosting a webinar in Fall 2020 to share the findings.
New member recruitment priorities: Members from Northern and Interior BC; ethnically and culturally diverse members including First Nations; and those working with food banks, academic institutions, and organizations such as the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, the Canadian Association of Natural Nutritional Practitioners, the Canadian Nutrition Society, and the Community Food Centers Canada.
3. Seniors Community Action Committees (SCAC) Working Group
A SCAC is a local or regional group, structured as seniors’ planning, action, and/or advisory tables or committees that support the capacity of community to collaborate, plan and mobilize to serve an important purpose of giving seniors a voice in local planning and decision-making and to improve the lives of older adults.
Focus of WG: To support the needs and interests of SCACs across BC, including capacity building, education, advocacy, and awareness so that government and others better understand the value of SCACs in the province.
New member recruitment priorities: Currently inviting up to 2 individuals to join the SCAC Working Group, with priority offered to individuals from Northern BC and other rural or rural-urban areas (*Note: Members for this WG must be an executive/steering committee member or paid staff of a seniors’ planning table or seniors’ action committee)
Contact: Jessica Kleissen - firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Information, Referral (I&R) and Advocacy Working Group
Focus: To examine the challenges that seniors-focused I&R and Advocacy Services are facing in B.C. (e.g., fragmentation within the larger I&R sector, new technologies and new players including Healthy Aging CORE, and increasing needs for assistance and advocacy on the part of older adults) and to identify best practices, policies and procedures, develop templates and other tools for education and awareness, recommend solutions to known issues, and advocate for program funding increases.
Formal time commitments for members: 1 ½ hour long meetings each quarter; 1-hour long webinars three times/year deliver and/or coordinated by WG members; and miscellaneous other meetings related to e-conferences, project-specific activities, etc.
New member recruitment priorities: Members from Northern BC and Vancouver Island; those with experience in working with culturally diverse groups, low income populations, and seniors with higher needs; and those with expertise in health system navigation, elder abuse, income tax, and government relations.
Contact: Camille J Hannah - email@example.com
5. Rural and Remote Communities Working Group
Focus: To provide education, awareness, and advocacy for decision makers, government, and others to understand the challenges of living rural and remote for Older Adults. Activities include highlighting challenges of living in rural and remote communities, identifying and sharing best and promising practices, and building a case and advocating for more resources in these areas.
Contact: Sarrah Stoney – firstname.lastname@example.org