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Helping seniors live their best lives

Browse creative ideas to help reduce social isolation for seniors.

two seniors

The problem

For the first time in our history, there are more Ontarians over 65 than children under 15. The number of seniors is set to double in Ontario over the next 25 years to more than four million.

Many of today’s seniors lead active and vibrant lives and richly contribute to their communities. However, research shows that one of the biggest risk factors and the leading cause of depression for seniors is social isolation.

According to the National Seniors Council’s recent report on seniors’ social isolation (opens in a new window), in Canada:

  • an estimated 30% of seniors are at risk of social isolation
  • up to 16% of seniors experience social isolation

We want all seniors to feel welcomed, safe and included in their communities.

What ideas or project should we consider to help reduce social isolation for seniors?

Who we're trying to help

We want to help seniors at risk of becoming socially isolated, including those whose:

  • social networks have diminished
  • activity levels may be in decline

We also want to help younger seniors who are currently or will eventually become caregivers (for example, those with aging parents). These younger caregivers also need services and information to keep them active, engaged, safe and learning.

We’re looking for ideas that are:

  • innovative
  • have the potential to build community partnerships
  • benefit seniors over a sustained period of time
  • address the needs of seniors in remote areas
  • address seniors with specialized needs

What we're doing/have done

Promoting age-friendly communities

8 80 cities (opens in a new window), a Canadian not-for-profit organization, believes that if everything we do in our public spaces is great for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, then it will be great for all people. That’s why age-Friendly Communities are a top priority. We want to make it possible for seniors and others to access social and physical environments that are:

  • inclusive
  • consider needs based on diversity
  • easy to navigate

56 communities have already received planning grants.

We are also launching an Age-Friendly Community recognition program so communities that have made efforts towards inclusive space and programming for seniors can be acknowledged.

More Seniors Active Living Centres

We:

These centres are local hubs where seniors can continue to learn, volunteer and engage in wellness activities.

Community funding for seniors

In 2014, we launched the Seniors Community Grant Program (opens in a new window) exclusively to help seniors across Ontario.

The fund supports projects to encourage greater social involvement, learning, volunteerism and community engagement for seniors.

Hundreds of projects are now active; impacting the lives of more than 400,000 seniors.

Over the next three years, we will increase funding for the grant program by an additional $11 million.

Safety, awareness and abuse prevention programs

We also partner with:

Learn more

We have a comprehensive guide to programs and services for seniors (opens in a new window) which is available in 16 languages. Use this resource to find information on:

  • tax credits
  • healthcare
  • caregiving
  • housing
  • driving
  • safety

202 ideas submitted to Seniors


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Seniors and Kids Intergenerational Reading and Talent (SKIRT) Program

Seniors provide reading and writing support for students

This idea was selected for voting.

Building on the SKIP of Brantford, the proposed Seniors and Kids Intergenerational Reading and Talent (SKIRT) Program will focus on reading and other talent-building activities or social interactions.

How it should be implemented:

Read more
Created on November 3, 2017 by Precy APT.

The Memoir Movement

Preserve the stories of Ontario’s seniors

This idea was selected for voting.

Why I'm submitting this idea:

Read more
Updated on October 31, 2017 by marco7579.  5 comments

Simple “snail mail” solution to reduce isolation and improve health for seniors

Honourable mention. While this idea was not ultimately selected, it has been shared with the appropriate Ministry for future consideration.

Our simple, low-cost idea uses “snail mail” to connect seniors to existing services and supports which reduce isolation and help them remain independent and healthy.

Read more
Created on November 2, 2017 by OCSA.  2 comments

Wheels to Meals

Honourable mention. While this idea was not ultimately selected, it has been shared with the appropriate Ministry for future consideration.

This is not my idea.

Read more
Created on October 22, 2017 by joanmac.  3 comments

Buddy System

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Seniors who live in a seniors apartment building, as their health declines, they no longer go out. Home visits by PSW’s are implemented. Most tenants don’t know any of the neighbours.

Read more
Updated on October 27, 2017 by Mamacity.  5 comments

Connecting Seniors through the Love of Reading

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

A virtual reading group of Seniors, volunteers & their community libraries enabled by technology will reduce dementia incidence.

Read more
Created on November 3, 2017 by CynthiaM.

Develop a technical network that is senior friendly to reduce social isolation in remote areas.

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Our ideas is to broadcast, special topics, activities and workshops to senior residents who live in isolated homes and areas.
There would be two types of outreach:

Read more
Created on November 3, 2017 by Eganville Seniors.

Keeping Seniors Connected: A Digital Service

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

A digital service that enables individuals and agencies engaged in Friendly Visiting (FV) programs to come together and form an online community of practice to address:

Read more
Created on November 1, 2017 by Rebekah Churchyard.  3 comments

Province-wide 'Angel Networks'

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

In Toronto there is a non-for-profit called the Angel Network (not sure if this is the exact name). This association partners high school students (screened) with skills (carpentry, gardening, painting etc.) with the disabled or the elderly.

Read more
Updated on October 26, 2017 by JSugar.  5 comments

Social Innovation to reduce Social Isolation of Seniors in Ontario

This project was carefully considered at the Public Workshops, but was not selected to move forward.

Social Isolation for seniors has been identified as one of the leading causes of depression. With an estimated 30% of seniors at risk of social isolation it is time for social innovation to play a part.

Read more
Created on November 3, 2017 by OACAO.

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