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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


CoHousing For Seniors and Intergenerational cohousing Seed money

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

There is funding from a variety of sources for seniors housing but a cohesive group wanting to form a cooperative living residence needs seed money to make it happen.

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Created on October 31, 2017 by Jocelyn.  1 comment

Combined Care

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

My idea would be to combine child care and pet care areas to senior residences. This way seniors could have an opportunity to interact with the children or pets if they wish or just watch them play.

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Created on October 28, 2017 by Carolswalsh.  1 comment

Community Living

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

Create a community living environment for seniors that is not institutional, but an environment that seniors can feel like they are at home, where they can leave their living quarter to go to the market, get hair done, meet people in the cafe.

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Created on October 24, 2017 by JCM.  1 comment

community living for seniors

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

housing for seniors should be available in Ontario cities in small one floor attached bungalows with small front gardens and availability to create back gardens. They should be pet friendly.

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Created on November 2, 2017 by deblindsay.  1 comment

Community Service Seniors/Highschool

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

As a way to keep Senior engage in the community and keep teens out of trouble. I thought that a program could be created for seniors to teach skills to high school students.

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Created on October 21, 2017 by JCortes.  3 comments

Connecting Communities: Senior and Schools

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

Running a program where seniors utilize the current public school systems in place would easily allow for seniors to have an accessible area to congregate.

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Created on October 22, 2017 by Kate Ippol.  1 comment

Connecting Seniors with greater opportunities for mentorship in mental health

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

Engage seniors in finding purpose in their sunset years by helping guide and mentor those struggling with addiction and mental health challenges to relate to their experiences and struggles and put each others situation in a reflective context

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Created on October 24, 2017 by Tony Genco.  2 comments

Connecting Seniors with Youth through reciprocity

This idea did not move past government review because it could not be in progress or finished by Spring 2018.

Focusing on technology and giving seniors more access to the internet, we propose a coordination between the high school students in need of volunteer hours and seniors interested in learning more about getting "online".

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Created on November 4, 2017 by CynthiaM.

ConnectingSeniors2Community

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

Many of my friends are seniors.
Many have family that live far away.
Many are wanting to be better connected.
Many are wanting to continue learning,

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Created on October 20, 2017 by ConnectingSeniors2Community.  2 comments

Couples Living Together in Senior Housing

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

Over 32,000 people are waiting for long-term care homes in Ontario. What if we offered an alternative living style for these seniors and their partners/husbands or wives, so they might live together.

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Created on November 2, 2017 by Jeanne B Diemer.  2 comments

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