Here you will find links to publications, websites and videos to inspire and shape your thinking about social inclusion!
Publications and Tools
For those of you who are interested in more comprehensive detail about the Hamilton Seniors Isolation Impact Plan (HSIIP), refer to the Evaluation Report for the period May 2016-March 2019. Click on the below link.
One component of the HSIIP project was a seniors’ storytelling project facilitated by StoryCoach Dr. Michael Williams (www.michaelwilliamsstorycoaching.com). Over a 4-month period, Dr. Williams encouraged participants to share their stories, describing how loneliness and isolation impacted their lives and how, with the support of their peer connectors, they overcame the challenges. The participants not only shared their stories with one another but co-created videos of them to be shared with others facing similar challenges. Those videos can be viewed below.
The story project had a profound impact on participants in terms of their self-confidence and esteem, social and communication skills, and sense of well-being.
Dr. Williams recalls one particular incident that illustrates this profound impact. “One of our participants—Sheila (not her real name) — was still recovering from the effects of a stroke and other physical challenges. She had been identified by her peer connector as someone who was particularly lonely and isolated. Sheila relied on using a walker and was nervous about getting to and from the sessions. She hobbled into the room and carefully parked her walker close by. The group spent the afternoon around the table sharing their stories and listening to one another. After our session had finished, there was a palpable atmosphere of camaraderie in the room. My seniors reminded me of teenagers excitedly chatting about what they were going to do on the weekend. On their way out, I heard them exchanging phone numbers and promising to connect with one another. Ten minutes later, I could still see them outside the front doors talking and laughing. I was just about to close up the room when Sheila hurried back into the room looking sheepish: she had forgotten her walker! She explained that she had felt so energized by the conversation and so connected that she momentarily “forgot” her infirmity. ‘Don’t tell my doctor,’ she grinned, ‘he wouldn’t be happy.’ For me, it was yet more proof of the healing power of story.”