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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


Fabric Sensor Bed Sheet Health Monitor for Long-Term Care

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

Using the fabric sensor technology, a bed sheet health monitor was developed to monitor the health of patients without the need for attaching wires or devices to the body.

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Created on October 28, 2017 by Studio1Labs.  15 comments

Feasibility Study to look at Alternate Mechanisms for Residential Property Assessment

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

Ideally our neighbourhoods should reflect socioeconomic diversity; they should also be comprised of young families, teenagers, as well as seniors. In reality, polarization is occurring not only in neighbourhoods but also in schools.

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Created on November 2, 2017 by esther giesbrecht.

Fitness--The Key to A Longer Life

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

Once seniors consider they can “retire” after 40 years on the job to fun, frivolity and “no work” including no physical exercise, a fatal mistake.

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Updated on November 2, 2017 by Tommore.  2 comments

Foster Children and Seniors interact

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.

Our idea is to bring foster children and senior citizens in retirement homes together on dates according to availability and preference.

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Created on October 29, 2017 by Silverthorn Collegiate Institute.  1 comment

Free bus tickets to local community centre

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

Community centres play an important role in helping low-income Ontarians. The programs and services can assist with healthy living, and also engage seniors into social groups.

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Updated on October 31, 2017 by JSugar.  13 comments

Free internet

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

Free internet for senior people

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Created on October 26, 2017 by Murat.  2 comments

FREE INTERNET FOR SENIORS

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

INTERNET IS EXPENSIVE, OUT OF REACH FOR SENIORS. FREE INTERNET WOULD ALLOW MORE SOCIAL CONTACT, ALLOW THEM TO COMMUNICATE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AND FRIENDS

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Created on October 31, 2017 by BARBARA.

Free public transit for seniors

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

It has proven many times that a mobile senior is a more healthy senior.

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Created on October 29, 2017 by Old Geezer.  1 comment

Free Senior TTC Access. Age to be determined, perhaps 75+. Promote access/ shops,family & medical.

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

Free TTC for seniors above a certain age, maybe 75+. Seniors on small pensions/ I am one) need access to public transportation, buses, streetcars and subways. I live on the simple OAS+GIS and that's it.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by Paule Deneau.

Funding for Northern Ontario seniors

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

We need more resources in Northern Ontario for seniors. The hospitals are at full capacity and unable to accept sick patients because seniors are in the active care area of the hospital because there is no where else to put them.

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Created on October 22, 2017 by Caregiver.

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