Are you connected? When you are – and especially if you’re an older adult – it can mean the difference between living your best life or just getting by. It could even be the difference between life and death.

We are fortunate in Dufferin County that there are many organizations that provide a wide variety of programs, services and supports for older adults. Ageing Well in Caledon-Dufferin (otherwise known as AWICD) is a local collaborative of 20 senior-serving organizations that are working together to let the community know about all the resources available.

What brings these social, community and health service providers together is their collective goal of providing awareness to the community and working together to respond to the needs of older adults. They see themselves as a bit of safety net for the community. If it’s not a safety net that you need at the moment, you could say that AWICD is also like a treasure chest of wonderful programs and services just waiting for you to take advantage of.

Dufferin Community Foundation Board members Gord Gallaugher, Michèle Maycock and Shirley Boxem joined AWICD members at the “Are You Connected?” launch on September 29, 2022 at Shelburne Library.

A safety net for seniors going through difficult times

Michael, who suddenly lost his wife in motor vehicle accident, at first didn’t realize that there was a safety net available to help him through the most difficult time in his life. After connecting with TeleCheck, one of the AWICD organizations, he not only received daily telephone calls from a caring volunteer, he was also connected with organizations that helped him get regular meals delivered to his door and counselling support for his feelings of grief and loneliness.

But wait, there is more! When he needs them, AWICD can also help him to find new housing if he is looking to move, get him additional homecare and health care supports so that he can continue to live independently, and even connect him with social recreational programs so he can meet other people his own age. By being connected, Michael can continue on his journey knowing he has the support of his community with him.

AWICD thanks Dufferin Community Foundation for their support so that people like Michael find, and get, the supports they need to maintain and support their health and well-being.

From right-left, Gord Gallaugher, MaryAnn Lowry and Michele Fisher from Dufferin Community Foundation present a cheque to AWICD members: Gayle Smith, Caledon Dufferin Victim Services; Joanne Jordan, Family Transition Place/Avalon; Dave Tyler, Dufferin County Paramedic Services; Jennifer McCallum, TeleCheck; and, Emma Whittaker, CMHA Peel Dufferin.

Ageing Well in Caledon Dufferin received a $3,000 Dufferin Emergency Support Fund grant to launch a campaign to reduce social isolation and connect older adults to services they need.