Ontario Supports Telephone-Based Social and Educational Programs for Seniors

Published on September 21, 2020

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing $467,500 to the Older Adult Centres' Association of Ontario (OACAO) to administer the new Seniors' Centre Without Walls Micro-Grants program and other capacity building initiatives. The funding will support a broad range of seniors' organizations and help people stay connected to their communities through telephone-based social and educational programs.

The announcement was made today by Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility.

"Our government is committed to ensuring that our seniors have the support and resources they need to maintain their health, wellbeing, and a good quality of life," said Minister Cho. "Social isolation can be particularly challenging for seniors, especially during the pandemic. Our investment will help ensure more seniors can access valuable telephone-based programs to combat social isolation and help keep them safe."

The Seniors' Centre Without Walls Micro-Grants will help organizations deliver remote teleconference programming to meet the unique needs of older adults in Indigenous and Francophone communities, as well as seniors living in rural and remote areas of the province.

Indigenous communities and non-profit organizations that serve seniors are eligible to apply for the program until September 30, 2020. Visit the OACAO's webpage to find full program guidelines and access an online application. 

"The Older Adult Centres' Association of Ontario is pleased to work with the Government of Ontario as our funding partner to offer the Seniors' Centre Without Walls Micro-Grants Program," said Sue Hesjedahl, Executive Director of the OACAO. "The health and safety of Ontario's seniors is most important during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their mental health and social connectedness. Seniors' Centre Without Walls is an accessible and inclusive telephone-based program model which reduces the negative impacts of social isolation and ensures that participants remain engaged in their communities."

This work builds on Ontario's commitment to help seniors stay independent, healthy and active within their communities. In June, the government announced an investment of up to $4 million for the Seniors Community Grant program, which provides funding for non-profit organizations, local services boards or Indigenous groups to develop programming for seniors.


Quick Facts

  • The Seniors’ Centre Without Walls model is a free interactive telephone-based group program for socially isolated seniors and people with disabilities who find it difficult to leave their homes.
  • By 2023, there will be three million Ontarians over the age of 65; this is the province’s fastest growing demographic.

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