Sandi Temple connects older adults with important social and recreational programs, food delivery services, transportation and housing supports. Her role is a key part of a new approach to healthy aging. A program at Fraser Health in B.C., social prescribing, enables healthcare professionals to give older adults referrals to a wide range of non-clinical local services, one that helps to address certain needs when it comes to their wellbeing that are not being addressed otherwise. It is similar to social prescribing programs in the U.K.; in B.C., it’s is conducted in partnership with the United Way.
How does it work? The client is put in touch with a community connector, and the two work on developing goals with regards to their health, preferences and needs. From there, the community connector connects the client with social and recreational programs, transportation, food delivery services and housing supports as needed.
Clients are often caregivers themselves, and having the help of a community connector simplifies them in gaining access to the services they need.
A key benefit is alleviating social isolation. Enabling these connections allows vulnerable people to meet peers interested in the same activities, gets them up and moving, and creates an environment for the development of a social support system, which has been shown to improve both health and quality of life.
For more about the program including who it’s available to and how it hopes to shift the conversation when it comes to healthcare, read more in the latest news from Fraser Health.