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Lonely No More is an effective virtual outreach model. It empowers those who self-identify with the negative impacts of social isolation and is currently being used to serve rural older adults. This program enhances well-being through co-facilitating new networks and enabling improved community engagement by integrating peer support, coaching conversations, and system navigation.

What Impact Does Lonely No More Have? 

"I thought it was a really unique program that was really focusing on ... peer to peer support which is amazing ... it leads to that ... level of connectivity and comparssion and ... a sense of belonging that ... we're looking for."
- Engaged Community Member 

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Elder Circles 

Since 2018, the Lonely No More program (initially created by Sheila Schuehlein and engaged community partners) has been offering weekly over-the-phone group chats in rural Southwestern Ontario. These weekly chats occur in a party-line fashion with 3 to 5 rural older adults engaging together, facilitated by 2 trained Community Volunteers (Elder Circles).

 

These Community Volunteers (Co-Facilitators) help implement the program's three pong approach to combating social isolation: peer support, conversing with appreciative inquiry, and resource navigation.

If you are interested in joining one of our Elder Circles, or perhaps leading one of these weekly group chats, please call the Lonely No More Leadership Team at 519 292 6862. Please note we will have more spots available this fall. 

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To meet expressed needs and readiness to lead and try new things, the Lonely No More Leadership Team has been working closely with community volunteers, Lonely No More participants, and new collaborators to co-create new and innovative ways to provide additional support and create more connections with our rural older adult neighbors. 

Storytelling Club 

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To help us find our own voice and be empowered to share our own stories, we held monthly opportunities to engage with each other to: 

  • listen to the art of storytelling 

  • learn the art of storytelling 

  • try the art of storytelling 

 

Lonely No More's online Storytelling Club concluded in June 2022. 

"This monthly hour of entertainment and friendship is an opportunity to share our community stories through the power of storytelling, to stay connected with our community throughout the winter months."

- Storytelling Club Faciliator 

Music Group 

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Founded by two of Lonely No More's participants, this weekly online jam session is open to community members that are interested in listening or sharing their musical talents.

 

This is a great way to connect with your rural neighbors and be able to play and share from the comfort of your own home. 

Every Friday at 3:30 pm 
Video and phone-in options are available. 
Register by giving our Coordinator Sarah a call at 
519 292 6862. 

"I hate to miss even one session! We want to get more people to come. I have written my own songs to try out with our group. I hope we can make the sound even better for people to enjoy!" 

- Music Group Attendee

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Stretch, Lift and Tap (SLoT) 

Thank you to all who joined us for our interactive over-the-phone weekly movement program pilot. We ran this pilot for 6 weeks and enjoyed seeing the leadership and engagement made both both our participants and volunteers.   

We'd also like to thank Sunnybrook Hospital for selecting us as an implementation and evaluation partner to pilot the Regional Geriatric Program's SLoT program to our interested Lonely No More participants and other Southwestern Ontario residents. ​

If you are interested in what our pilot program looked like, click here. 

Provincial Highlight - March 2022

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The Lonely No More Program has been recognized as a promising practice by the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors for Canada and the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA) announced at the Federal / Provincial / Territorial Ministers’ ‘Future of Aging in Canada’ symposium held on June 8, 2021. 

Highlights 

Lonely No More's Program Coordinator recently shared the program's model at Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario's Annual Conference Master Class on March 31st, 2022 as an example of a successful engagement intervention and promising practice.

 

Click here to listen to the presentation and learn new ways to connect with others. 

Lonely No More's Leadership Team was also invited to participate on the Loneliness Panel at CMHC's Crafting Connections in a Landscape of Uncertainly Conference (November 2021).

 

During the conference, the Leadership Team presented on the piloted intergenerational customization of Lonely No More, highlighting the positive impact Lonely No More and its affiliated training (Connectedness Coaching) had on engaged rural youth. 

A huge thank you goes out to our volunteers who make this program possible!

Interested in Engaging with us? 

If you are interested in volunteering, participating in, or are a service provider looking to refer clients to Lonely No More's current offerings please contact Lonely No More's Program Coordinator Sarah Versteeg at sarah@gatewayruralhealth.ca.


If your organization is interested in partnering or sponsoring a local expression of the Lonely No More program, please reach out to Sheila Schuehlein, Gateway's Chair of Rural Health Coaching and Program Lead, at sheila@gatewayruralhealth.ca.  

​​Lonely No More has recently been supported by: McCall MacBain Foundation, Rotary Club of Goderich, IODE, MacKay Seniors Centre / Senior Centers Without Walls, University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy, Southwest Analytics, the Municipality of North Perth, Rural Response for Healthy Children and the Regional Geriatric Program. Gateway CERH is also supported by the Government of Canada's Emergency Community Support Fund, Community Foundations of Canada, and the New Horizons for Seniors Program.