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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


Telephone tree. Establish telephone trees to keep seniors connected.

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

Using local groups, e.g. Lions, Royal Canadian Legion, create telephone trees to maintain contact with socially at risk seniors. Friendships may develop and the seniors have a contact when in need. Very little funding required.

Read more
Created on October 30, 2017 by Lin..  1 comment

A Seniors Helping Seniors Directory

This idea did not move past government review because it would duplicate a service that is already available, work that has been completed or work underway.

A directory, print or digital format, of services aimed for seniors and offered by seniors

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Created on November 4, 2017 by CynthiaM.

Access to healthcare in Northern Ontario for seniors. Transportation coordination Hearst-Timmins

This idea did not move past government review because it is not solely within the jurisdiction of the Government of Ontario.

Many seniors in Hearst have to go to Timmins regularly for medical appointments. It is a 6 hr return trip. An agency like ccac should coordinate daily transportation services to and from timmins.

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Created on October 19, 2017 by Louise G.

Accessible Transportation in Rural Ontario

This idea did not move past government review because it is not solely within the jurisdiction of the Government of Ontario.

In Rural Ontario buses &/or trains no longer provide transportation. The communities rely on cars to get from place to place locally & out of town.

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Created on October 24, 2017 by kar123pl.  1 comment

Accessible Transportation Overhaul

This idea did not move past government review because it did not meet the guidelines for a Budget Talks submission.

I am an Occupational Therapist in Ontario working in long term care and the community setting.

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Created on November 2, 2017 by Markie Ryckman OT.

Adult Day Care

This idea did not move past government review because it would duplicate a service that is already available, work that has been completed or work underway.

Older adults in rural areas suffer from isolation. Especially those who are unable to drive or those who are affraid to go out on their own. Some simply cant afford a vehicle. They are lonely, depressed and these contribute to loss of life.

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Created on November 1, 2017 by Luci's Bridge.  1 comment

Affordable Housing - The Abbeyfield Way

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

Abbeyfield Houses are created by community volunteers, service clubs and churches, which affiliate with the Abbeyfield Society, an international non-profit charitable group, create Abbeyfield houses.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by Durowaa Bauer.

Alternatives to institutionalization...pilot project, study, create a new fund

This idea did not move past government review because it would exceed $1 million in one-time funding and/or require ongoing funding.

It takes a neighbourhood to remove the stigma of old age...
We fear and do not talk about symptoms of dementia, moving into and with a disability, chronic health conditions and/or the powerlessness coming for many of us in old age.

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Updated on October 28, 2017 by Myron Steinman.  3 comments

Back to affordable apartment buildings which housed happy seniors, 1970's to 90's style.

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

I simply suggest this simple solution to many problems raised about our elderly citizens . In 1972, my mother who had worked hard her whole life , beginning with the care of her 5 siblings after the death of her mother. She was 9.

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Created on October 12, 2017 by Monique Taylor.  3 comments

Beneficial useage of Huronia Regional Centre and other closed down facilites

This idea did not move past government review because it would not help support any of the Budget Talks focus areas.

There are many of us in my area who feel the same way as I do. Talk in the community has confirmed this for many years, yet HRC sits empty!

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Created on October 22, 2017 by Bluegrasser.  6 comments

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