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Aging undoubtedly brings its own challenges and to stay in your own home will often require a combination of formal home care, informal help from a spouse, family, friends or neighbour, and community support programs. In addition, more than of third of Canadians will be living alone when they are 75 or older which can have an effect on a seniors’ financial status, housing affordability, degree of isolation and wellbeing, according to the report Health Care in Canada, 2011: A Focus on Seniors and Aging by the Canadian Institute for Health Care.

With the variety of government and community programs and services in Ontario, an older adult has the opportunity to do more than just fill in the days. Often the biggest challenge is learning what programs exist in a community. That is why the 211 helpline is here for every Ontario resident. Simply call 2-1-1 from anywhere in Ontario, any time of the day and night, to discover local programs. 211 Specialists can help you explore options near you and explain how to access services, many of which are free or low cost for older adults. 211 helped over 178,000 older adults find services in 2014.

211 Specialists understand that many older adults want to help themselves and not be a burden on family and friends. The 211 helpline is a great tool for older adults to find help for those things that challenge them. The range of services, be they government, municipal or community funded, means the front door shouldn’t be the limit of the world for a senior.

New programs are created every year and services are evolving. To learn more about some of new and expanding community supports designed for older adults, visit the full article on our website to learn about the:

  • Community Paramedicine Program
  • Physiotherapy Services
  • Community Health Links
  • Seniors Mental Health
  • Caregiver and Respite Support
  • Home Health Services and Community Support Programs
  • Physical Activity Options
  • Fall/Winter Recreation Guides specifically for 55+ from some Ontario municipalities
  • Transportation for Older Adults
  • Social Participation and Continuous Learning
  • Volunteer Work and Service Clubs

There are thousands of programs to enjoy and ways to contribute and to be an advocate for yourself and others. Ontario’s community programs and services also offer options for the challenges of aging if older adults are willing to ask for and accept help. Communities are actively planning how to adapt to Canada’s aging populations and many are engaged in age-friendly city initiatives. Call 2-1-1 to find health services, formal home care supports and community support programs near you.

In the full article on our website you can also find links to videos on YouTube explaining these programs from some of Ontario’s community and social service organizations.

To learn more about financial assistance and community support services for older adults, visit here.

A Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors

Click here for A Guide to Programs and Service for Seniors in Ontario which is produced by the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat. This guide is also produced in the following languages and can be found at the link above: Arabic, Chinese – Simplified, Farsi, French, Gujarti, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese.