Reducing Older Adult Isolation: Strides Forward

Throughout the spring and summer, the collaborative of organizations working on the Foundation’s planning grant to create a system to reduce older adult isolation in Lackawanna County has been hard at work. During this time, they have made great strides, including:

  • Evaluating existing isolation screening tools and selecting one they think would be best for use in our community
  • Defining the role of volunteer navigators, who would assist isolated older adults in connecting to services to reduce their isolation
  • Talking through target audiences and messaging for a corresponding awareness campaign

In addition to continuing to come to consensus on several other key parts of the program, the collaborative is also moving forward with organizing several older adult focus groups to provide input on their work so far. Their ultimate goal is to share a complete, written plan with the Foundation and community in September, likely with the recommendation to first test the plan on a smaller scale through a pilot project and make adjustments prior to full implementation.

Although COVID certainly extended the timeline for this project, Peg Kopko of the United Way of Lackawanna & Wayne County, the lead organization of the collaborative, says, “Despite the occasional challenges and conflicts of working as a collaborative, our partners’ overall ongoing commitment to this work, and to working together in a true cross-community partnership, has been inspiring to witness.” 

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

-African Proverb

Christine Marcos
Program Officer