Community on Aging Knowledge Exchange
CAKEns (Community on Aging Knowledge Exchange) is a project of the Gerontology Association of Nova Scotia (GANS). The website’s primary audience is those who work with older Nova Scotians, but it may prove to be especially valuable to seniors themselves, especially those living in remote or rural areas (so long as they have internet access, either at home or at their community centre or C@P site).
Shortly, I’ll be developing a discussion forum on the site for seniors interested in socializing with other seniors. GANS will train groups of seniors to use the forum, with the expectation that those seniors will then train others.
The goal of the forum is to reduce the risk – and effects – of social isolation. In this respect it can benefit rural- and urban-dwelling seniors alike given that isolation need not be a matter of physical proximity. It can take the form of emotional ‘distance’ from family and friends, or be the result of health or financial issues. Isolation increases not only the risk of suffering from depression and developing chronic health problems but indeed social isolation has a direct effect on mortality in those over the age of 65.
And don’t think for a second that it’ll never work because Seniors resist new technologies. StatsCan reports that seniors are the fastest growing group of internet users.