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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Join HI in Conversation  to learn about the importance of social connections, and how they impact health and well-being. 

Heather Thompson* will present on Through an Age-Friendly Perspective – Understanding the Importance of Social Connections and their Impact on Health and Well-being of Older Adults. This is normally a 90 minute presentation but will be condensed to about 40 minutes to allow time for Q&A and discussion afterward.

Some key learnings:

  • Risk factors of isolation and loneliness
  • Understand how Age-Friendly communities and inter-generational programs contribute to the participation, health, independence and security of older adults
  • The importance of social connections and their impact on the health and well-being of older adults
  • Best practices in the prevention and reduction of isolation and loneliness
  • How Homeshare can protect against isolation and loneliness

Two sessions will be offered to accommodate different time zones:

Everyone is welcome to join these Conversations.

* Heather Thompson is currently engaged as a speaker on the topics of age-friendly communities, aging well, and elder abuse. She serves as the Chair of the Halton (Ontario) Elder Abuse Prevention Network and is an active member of the National Intergenerational Advisory Committee in Canada.

Heather is strong advocate for age-friendly, inclusive communities where all people can fully participate without barriers. She contributes to research (see National Institute on Aging documents) and has presented on the topics of Aging, and Age-friendly initiatives at local, provincial, national and international conferences and events.

Heather completed graduate studies at Queen’s University, with a Master of Science degree in Aging and Health. Her work and volunteer experience have encompassed leadership roles in the non-profit sector in Quebec and Ontario, including youth justice, disabilities, mental health, community support services for older adults, palliative and hospice care. More recently, she served for over 10 years as the Director of Age-Friendly Initiatives with Community Development Halton, a nonprofit organization serving Halton region. She actively steered the activities and projects of the Burlington Age-Friendly Council within the World Health Organization’s framework of an Age-Friendly practice, and served as the Chair of the Halton Age-Friendly Network, Co-Chair of the Southern Ontario Age-Friendly Network and Co-chair of the Older Adult Isolation Action Table with Halton Region. For over four years, Heather served as a Board Director with the Ontario Association of Councils on Aging.

In 2023, in honour of Heather’s contributions to improving the quality of life for older adults across Halton region, Community Development Halton established the Heather Thompson Volunteer Excellence Award. Administered by Volunteer Halton, this annual award celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding older adult volunteers in Halton Region. 

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