TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing $14.3 million in 2020-21 to support nearly 300 Seniors Active Living Centres.
These programs will deliver new virtual initiatives to help keep seniors safe and socially connected as they continue to self-isolate due to COVID-19.
“Given the fact that many seniors have had to self-isolate during COVID-19, it is important that we look to programs that will keep them safe and connected,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility.
“Our government’s investment in Seniors Active Living Centres will help older adults stay virtually engaged with their friends, family and communities while combatting social isolation during the pandemic.”
This year’s investment will focus on virtual programs such as teleconferences, online videos, one-on-one phone calls to help seniors stay connected from home, and support projects:
• Seniors’ Centre Without Walls to create interactive telephone-based group programming for socially isolated seniors and people with disabilities
• Virtual physical fitness programming
• Online craft programs and delivery of pre-made craft kits
• Meal programs ranging from curbside pick up to door-to-door deliveries
• Online educational programs such as tax clinics, technology assistance, health and wellness, and COVID-19 information
This year’s ongoing funding has supported the application of safety control measures against the spread of COVID-19, and provided more remote and virtual programming. These programs have also provided safe in-person programming when the local public health unit said it was safe to do so. Seniors Active Living Centre programs are a key initiative to help older adults stay healthy, active and socially connected within their own communities.
• Ontario’s seniors population is the fastest-growing age group. By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65.