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Social isolation is a social determinant of health and the upstream health outcomes of supporting frail and isolated seniors has been well documented in reports such as the Poverty and Inequality Among British Columbia’s Seniors (2017). According to that report, seniors’ poverty in BC rose from a low of 2.2 per cent in 1996 to 12.7 per cent in 2014 (according to Statistics Canada’s low income measure). A total of 96,000 BC seniors lived in poverty in 2014.

There is an active network in the aging sector in Campbell River who are implementing projects at a municipal level, as well as a City-led research project that has been collecting data and will be making recommendations for future actions and policy interventions. Further work on the benefits of connecting these networks to those in rural and remote areas to share learnings, encourage collaboration and leverage funding could be a useful next step.  Aging and caregiver support was identified as a priority area at both Health Network forums in 2015.

Data sources: Strathcona Community Health Network Forum Report (June 2015), Strathcona Community Health Network Forum Report (November 2015), Island Health LHA Report 84, Island Health LHA Report 72, Campbell River Vital Signs, Poverty and Inequality Among British Columbia’s Seniors (2017).