Q and A with the Island's new Seniors Navigator – Melanie Melanson
How would you explain the role of Seniors Navigator to Islanders?
I like to think of the Seniors Navigator role as a “one-stop shop” to assist seniors. I help seniors navigate programs, supports and services through municipal, provincial and federal government departments, nonprofit and private sector organizations.
What are your goals in your new position as Seniors Navigator?
My main goal is to connect with seniors – especially those who don’t have family or community support.
I want to make sure people know that I am available to help so I plan to spend time in different communities each month where I can meet with Island seniors face-to-face.
What services are available to seniors at community locations?
How do you think these services will help seniors?
I think these services will help seniors by giving them confidence.
I want to learn more about what types of support Island seniors need and what information they have trouble accessing. I am here to help bridge these gaps and advocate for change where possible so that we can better support and serve the aging population of PEI.
Have you been getting lots of inquiries so far?
Yes! The word is definitely starting to get out. I’ve talked with several Island seniors but I’ve also had lots of inquiries from caregivers of seniors who are looking for information on their behalf. I've also been chatting with other professionals, such as dieticians and nurses, so that they can pass information about my services or government programs directly to their patients.
What is your favorite part of your role as Seniors Navigator?
The best part of my role as Seniors Navigator is talking to seniors. I’ve had some fantastic conversations and they are so appreciative. It feels great to help make a difference!
What would you say to someone who is hesitant about reaching out to you?
I would tell them not to be! We are just discussing options that may benefit them. I am only giving them information. They decide what to act on.
But if they are hesitant to ask their question(s), we do have the Seniors’ Guide that may give them the answers they are looking for and then they can follow up with me if they have further questions.