The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC) celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2015. In the ten years the ESCC has been operating we have worked with member agencies and stakeholders to enhance seniors programs/services and build on existing systems to connect community-based aging in place supports.
Recent work has focused on:
Enhanced outreach services: ESCC coordinated efforts to enhance outreach services to isolated and at-risk seniors. This included development of an Outreach Worker Toolkit which includes a manual, interview guide and resource list that can be used by outreach workers. Stronger relationships have also been forged through the collaboration between outreach workers and other senior serving organizations.
Assisted transportation: With support from ESCC, organizations that provide assisted transportation for seniors came together as LIFT Drive Happiness. The partner organizations engage in joint volunteer recruitment and training, coordinate communications, and developed consistent practices, common forms, an evaluation framework and data collection methods.
Age Friendly Edmonton
In addition to our role as a backbone organization in sector collaboration, ESCC:
The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council initiated discussions with executive directors and board representatives from senior-serving organizations in 2008 on how to address identified gaps in services and prepare to meet increasing demand for them due to the pending demographic influx of post-war baby boom seniors.
Early on in the discussions, it was decided to use the framework of the World Health Organization’s Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide as a basis for developing a made-in-Edmonton plan. When the WHO announced that it wished to establish a Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities, the City of Edmonton submitted a lot of ESCC's work as part of an application to become a member.
The municipality issued Edmonton’s Seniors Declaration to signify its intention to focus on the opportunities aging provides, rather than on the perception that an aging population is a drain on society’s resources. Edmonton Seniors: A Portrait was published jointly by ESCC and the City of Edmonton as a reflection of seniors’ concerns and interests identified in reports and surveys.
The City of Edmonton was accepted as a member of the WHO’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities in December of 2010 and, following ESCC meetings with stakeholders and seniors, and numerous revisions, a Vision for an Age-Friendly Edmonton Action Plan was published and distributed in Spring 2011.
The plan identifies goals and actions in nine strategic areas: community support services; health services; communication and information; social and recreational participation; transportation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation, volunteerism and employment; housing; and outdoor spaces and buildings.
Each action is accompanied by identification of a lead partner. Lead partners invite and encourage other organizations to get involved in achieving goals, facilitate and guide the process toward that end, and determine what, if any, additional resources are required to implement actions.
City council’s approval of the plan in 2012 energized ESCC member organizations, plan partners and stakeholders. We believe in the action plan and the promise it provides to seniors that improvements will be made to add to their quality of life.
2004-2008ESCC took the lead in bringing stakeholders together to plan for improvements to services by holding events such as roundtable discussions, workshops and forums.
The Council established itself as the communication hub for the senior sector by circulating weekly electronic bulletins, establishing its website and databases, publishing a Physical Activity and Recreation Directory for Older Adults, facilitating publication of a Seniors Scene monthly page in the Edmonton Examiner, and issuing other reports and publications.
The ESCC facilitated regular senior sector meetings of board representatives and executive directors, established an Interagency Programmers Committee for the sharing of information in a supportive environment, initiated regular meetings of Interagency Outreach Workers, provided support for an Edmonton Voluntary Drivers Network and facilitated regular meetings of a Yard Help/Snow Shovelling Network.
The Council initiated joint projects such as the production of a promotional DVD for seniors centres and produced other resources, such as fact sheets, cultural cue documents and policy templates, to assist agencies.
The ESCC arranged for educational sessions for workers, such as cultural sensitivity training, and became one of the lead organizations for the Creative Age Festival, first held in 2008 during Seniors' Week.
On October 14, 2005 the government officially recognized ESCC as a society.
The establishment of the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC) was the major recommendation from the Task Force on Community Services for Seniors’ report Blueprint for Action published in January 2004.
The first ESCC Board of Directors, comprising representatives of 11 regular members and four associate members, was elected in November 2004. Ex-officio board members included representatives from the City of Edmonton , the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, and Capital Health Authority (Alberta Health Services).
Where we started: The 2004 'Let's Make it Happen' ESCC Blueprint
|Download a PDF of the 2004 Let's Make it Happen ESCC Blueprint|