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Social Connection in Older Age Symposium 2022

On 4 March 2022, the Bolton Clarke Research Institute brought together a stellar program of top national and international policy makers, academics and service providers in an online Social Connection Symposium to share their expertise about the importance of working collaboratively to create socially connected communities. Recordings from the event are available below. 

04 March 2022
Welcome and Opening Address
Bolton Clarke Chairman, Pat McIntosh AM CSC, welcomes attendees to the symposium, and introduces Professor John Pollaers, OAM, Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology; Executive Chairman, Leef Independent Living Solutions and Chair, Ending Loneliness Together Advisory Group, who provides the opening address. Professor Pollaers explains the critical need to work together and invest in supporting connection in Australia.
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04 March 2022
Social Connection and wellbeing as voiced by Older Australians
How do older people view social connection and wellbeing? Danny Vadasz, CEO, Health Issues Centre shares the voices of older people themselves, and how social connection relates to having a sense of purpose, identity, and general wellbeing.
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04 March 2022
Social connection as a path to social cure: A social identity perspective
Professor Cath Haslam, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Queensland, explores the social identity approach, to explain how the groups that people connect with through social prescribing pathways benefit their health and well-being.
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04 March 2022
Social connection in older age: Evidence into practice
We often focus on the issues of loneliness and social isolation without presenting any practical ways to combat them. Professor Jane Farmer, Director of Swinburne Social Innovation Research Institute presents their evidence-based social connection model and unpacks what can actually be done to activate social connection in communities.
04 March 2022
Using evidence base to codesign: Connecting Communities to Care
Adapting social prescribing evidence and models to local contexts is key to success. Dr Rajna Ogrin and Kerry Rendell from the Bolton Clarke Research Institute share how they’ve established and worked together with community members to codesign the Connection Communities to Care project which aims to support older community members to connect with social activities in their local community.
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04 March 2022
Gathering the evidence: Frankston-Mornington Peninsula Social Prescribing Program
Rodney Mackintosh, Manager, Frankston-Mornington Peninsula Primary Care Partnership was unable to present. This video provides links to information about his experiences implementing and evaluating the Frankston Mornington Peninsula Social Prescribing service, established to support community recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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04 March 2022
Tips and hints for evaluating social prescribing programs for loneliness
How do we know our social prescribing programs are working? Professor Genevieve Dingle from the University of Queensland covers tips on engaging with services, accessing participants, timing of assessments, and most effective measures and methods for people with different abilities and needs.
04 March 2022
Panel discussion: Session 2
Panellists discuss how we can implement and evaluate an evidence-based, holistic, whole of community approach to wellbeing.
04 March 2022
Enabling social connection in Australia: Ending loneliness together
How can we live in a world where everyone feels a sense of connection and belonging? Hear from Dr Michelle Lim, the inaugural Chairperson and Scientific Chair of Ending Loneliness Together, about their work to build the evidence-base and tools to address loneliness in Australia.
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04 March 2022
Enabling social connection in Australia: Australian Disease Management Association
Working to make social connection activities Business as Usual in Australia involves bridging connections and building capacity within the sector. Dr Daniel Fineberg reports on the endeavours of the Australian Disease Management Association to facilitate information exchange, networking and education in integrated care.
04 March 2022
Enabling social connection in the UK: what can Australia learn?
The United Kingdom is at the forefront of addressing loneliness and social isolation. Learn from Dr Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Development Lead Global Alliance for Social Prescribing and Clinical Champion Lead National Academy for Social Prescribing about how we need to reverse engineer the definition of health through personalised care and social prescribing.
04 March 2022
Panel discussion: Session 3
How to make social connection activities Business as Usual in Australia. The expert panel discuss the wicked problem of making social connection activities business as usual in Australia, drawing on local, national and international perspectives.
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04 March 2022
Closing remarks
Clinical Associate Professor Wendy Zernike, Executive General Manager, Care Quality Innovation, Bolton Clarke, reflects on the learnings from the Social Connection in Older Age Symposium.