Aviva Asset Mapping: helping older adults navigate community resources, stay connected

Navigating the health care system and available community health resources can be tricky. Recognizing this, the Canadian Red Cross has created a program to make it easier for older adults, their caregivers, and families.
 
The Connection New Brunswick goal is to help meet the needs of socially-isolated older adults, so they remain at home, healthy, safe, and supported by their community. This volunteer-led program will pair community-dwelling older adults with a Canadian Red Cross Community Connector volunteer who will help them find local services, programs, and activities within their community.
 
Community members can be called on to participate in the process, at different stages or throughout all steps, sharing their information and experiences to geographically map out resources in the community.
 
Identifying community assets will help identify which resources are currently available, how these resources can be accessed, and what the eligibility requirements are. A group of Aviva employees volunteered their free time to identify assets on different maps assigned to them.
 
Preparing for the launch of Connection New Brunswick - anticipated for January 2022 - the team has focused on two questions: what existing programs and services are available, and is this information current and correct?
A screenshot of a map of St. John's and assets highlighted such as community activities, meals and help around the house, physical and mental health 
Aviva employees helped create an “asset map” that pinpointed programs and services in four communities: Saint John, Saint Andrews, Miramichi and Moncton.
 
“As a Red Cross volunteer, I was able to work remotely on this project,” says Veronica Bowes, one of Aviva’s asset mapping volunteers.  “The Red Cross provided training and an opportunity for me to make a difference to vulnerable Canadians by creating an asset map of resources and services available in their community. Everyone I communicated with at the Red Cross was professional, accessible, approachable, and patient. The role was fulfilling, and I felt appreciated. The volunteer experience with the Red Cross has only been positive.”
 
The volunteers’ primary task was to connect with local organizations or agencies by phone and sometimes email to collect information about their program or service or to verify that the information collected was up to date and accurate. The information gathered was then entered into the digital asset mapping tool using a software powered by Caredove.
 
This important step ensured that the information volunteers will be providing to program participants is the right information.
 
Don Williams, another Aviva volunteer, explains, “My involvement with the Canadian Red Cross started as a Ready When the Time Comes volunteer in the Greater Toronto Area.  My most recent volunteer experience has been with the Connection New Brunswick asset mapping. I find volunteering for the Red Cross to be personally rewarding.  I have great admiration for the work and support the Red Cross provides within Canada and globally.  The various volunteer opportunities allow me to give back to the community and help those in need. 
 

“At the same time, I have been able to apply some of my knowledge and experience while also learning some new skills. I am impressed with the dedication, professionalism and caring exhibited by everyone I have worked with at the Red Cross. Overall, volunteering for the Canadian Red Cross has been a great experience for me.”  

 
Connection New Brunswick is funded by the Healthy Seniors Pilot Project, jointly led by the Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Social Development and the Department of Health through the Aging Secretariat.
 
Learn more about Connection New Brunswick.  
 
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