Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 12.50.21 AMExtreme weather events and a growing aging population means we need strong community connections that bring us together when it’s needed the most

The Yale Project on Climate Change and Communication, reminds us that “as disaster events increase in magnitude, they are more likely to cause not only direct damages and loss of life, but indirect damages through disruption of services, utilities, businesses, social networks, and local economies”.

In our communities, some people are far more vulnerable to extreme weather and disaster events than others.  For example, older adults are typically more vulnerable to illness, injury and death from heat waves.  They do not adjust as well as younger people to sudden changes in temperature, are more likely to suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion, are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat and also  more likely to take medications that can change temperature regulation.

Many older adults live alone, experience isolation and find it difficult to reach out when in need. In Canada the number of seniors is expected to double by 2033 from about 5 million to 10 million (medium-growth scenario) with at least 75% burdened by a chronic health condition (Sheets & Gallagher, 2013). As our related project describes, there is a serious lack of capacity and coordination of services to support the needs of older adults, especially for those who want to stay at home and live as independently as possible.

Tonglen-nn is a tool designed to increase community connection and resiliency, while supporting the independence of those who wish to live on their own.

Tonglen-nn is a community based alert system that connects people who can lend a hand with people who could use a hand. It’s that simple. Find out more