Ontario Keeping Seniors Safe and Socially Connected during COVID-19Published on March 02, 2021
ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON — 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.”
Total local allocations are as follows:
- Municipality of Thames Centre - Dorchester Lions Seniors Centre- $54,014.41
- St. Thomas Seniors' Centre- $53,637.26
“Local seniors’ centres are valued community hubs that foster connection, support, and wellbeing,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP. “I am thrilled that the provincial government is supporting their adapted programming, which is more important than ever 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 such as:
- 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 to seniors
- 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.
The government is committed to the safety and well-being of Ontario’s older adults. Seniors Active Living Centre programs are a key initiative to help older adults stay healthy, active and socially connected within their own communities.
- Seniors Active Living Centre operators are community-based and promote wellness and social interaction through almost 300 programs across the province.
- The seniors population in Ontario is the fastest growing age group. By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65.