The Caller Reassurance Program for Seniors pilot was developed from comprehensive research into caller data reports. From the tens of thousands of calls placed in 2007 to Distress Centres, nearly half were from regular callers, specifically from senior callers. The agency invited this cohort of callers to participate in a small-scale pilot of this new, dedicated service - the Caller Reassurance Program for Seniors.
Participants receive regularly scheduled and personalized call-outs from our trained crisis responders. Since each regular call was tailored to meet the participant’s needs, we also provided a case-management approach and included discussions that ranged from medical appointment/medication reminders to developing a long-term coping plan.
Findings from the pilot demonstrated that the service had been essential in helping senior callers continue to live independently in the community and in preventing the downward spiral that can lead to premature and/or unnecessary institutionalization or death by suicide.
The mission of the program is to improve the emotional quality of life of vulnerable, aged citizens while empowering them to remain engaged in the community and continue to live independent lives.
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Outputs & outcomes
Our outputs - compared with previous years
The pilot was launched in 2007 and saw 11 seniors participate. With the relaunch taking place in 2012, 12 seniors were enrolled in the program, then more than doubling in 2013 to 38. Today there are over 51 seniors enrolled in the program, which is expected to continue to expand due to demand.
Our output timelines – dated and recent
The pilot project ran from 2007 to 2010. In that time, 11 seniors were intensively supported. After the successful completion of the pilot project, the results were analyzed and assessed to ensure that the needs of the community were being adequately addressed. The program was relaunched in 2012 and 38 seniors were enrolled by the end of 2013. In 2016 we have 51 in the program with an expansion plan for 100.
Our output - definition, and calculations
Maintenance of chronically mentally ill senior callers; addressing issues of marginalization/social isolation; support independent community living, and reduce the negative consequences of presenting concerns.
Our outcomes - mentioned
This program is designed to provide customized, intensive support through a designated call-out service for seniors who experience isolation due to chronic mental health concerns and situational crisis. It is intended to support their ability to remain in and be part of the community through the promotion of their emotional well-being and resiliency. The individualized case-managed approach to support will be facilitated by a senior staff member, who will supervise the frontline trained volunteers delivering the service.
Our outcomes - quantified
As of December 2016, 51 seniors are participating in this program. There is a 95% rate of supporting long-term maintenance of mental and physical health and wellbeing. 72% of our participants reported less loneliness, an increase in activity and reported more confidence in their ability to cope. Participants indicated satisfaction with the service offered and a fit between needs and type of support received.
Our outcomes - compared with previous years
Our outcomes - comparable to other charities
Although we have shared our learnings with other distress centres across Canada, the two that have so far adapted the program have changed it to the extent that the results cannot be easily compared. We look forward to continuing to work with other distress centres to help them implement this life-enhancing initiative.
Our outcome timelines – dated and recent
There are two distinct service user populations in this program: those who require intensive support for a shorter period of time due to a life transition (e.g., bereavement or a medical issue); and those who are experiencing chronic marginalization due to mental illness and/or isolation and need ongoing support.
Our goal is to create an emotional safety net for the at-risk and vulnerable seniors in our community and help them to continue to live independently and to prevent the downward spiral that can lead to premature and/or unnecessary institutionalization or death by suicide. We will also work with other senior services providers to ensure a continuum of care, minimizing or eliminating gaps in service.
For more information and to register please contact Tanja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that due to the demand for service in this program there may be a waiting list. Please check into know current availability.