Seniors Integrated Services Program (SISP) Knowledge Mobilization Toolkit
The Seniors Integrated Services Program (SISP) Knowledge Mobilization Toolkit is a critical initiative by the Seniors Services Society of BC (SSSBC) aimed at addressing housing insecurity and improving the well-being of disadvantaged seniors in Metro Vancouver. SSSBC’s year-long CMHC-funded Solutions Lab identified a shortage of place-based supports for senior renters in the region. In response, SSSBC piloted SISP, which connects low-income senior renters to essential services, including information & referral, meal delivery, housekeeping, local shuttle services, and digital literacy classes.
This project emerged as a priority due to the increased risk of social isolation, poor health, financial hardship, and housing insecurity faced by marginalized seniors, including those who are racialized, Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, veterans, and those who have experienced family violence and mental health challenges.
SISP aims to serve seniors who are low-income, isolated, and at risk of homelessness. The project’s key objectives are to reduce social isolation, increase access to safe and affordable housing, and enhance the independence and well-being of seniors in Metro Vancouver.
Thanks to generous funding from Prospera Credit Union, SSSBC created a comprehensive “how-to” guide, or “Toolkit”, for implementing the Seniors Integrated Services Program, conducting interviews and focus groups with stakeholders and seniors with lived experience to determine best practices, and consulting with SSSBC Manager on implementation and design for each SISP site. The initiative’s focus is Metro Vancouver, where the need for senior services and support is particularly acute.
Impact on the Local Community: The Seniors Integrated Services Program and the associated Knowledge Mobilization Toolkit will have a profound impact on the local community in Metro Vancouver. The two primary areas of impact are:
1. Mental Wellness and Positive Well-Being: By reducing social isolation and improving access to services, the project will contribute to the mental wellness and positive well-being of seniors. Social connectedness is recognized as a preventative health measure, helping seniors remain physically and psychologically active while reducing their reliance on formal support systems. This, in turn, can lead to cost savings in the emergency and basic healthcare system. The program will help seniors stay in their chosen communities and attract new members to join and contribute to the community.
2. Volunteerism: Well-supported and healthy seniors give back to their community in many vital ways: childcare for grandchildren, volunteerism, supporting local businesses, paying property taxes, and preserving history.