Seniors are the fastest growing age group in Canada, and our region is no exception. There were over 765,000 seniors living in Peel, Toronto and York Region as of 2016, representing 14.7% of the region’s overall population. As this population demographic continues to grow, we need to expand our support for programs that help seniors age in community. While as a whole seniors experience the lowest poverty rates of any age group in Canada, our region–especially the city of Toronto–has higher rates of seniors living in poverty. Indigenous, racialized, and immigrant seniors are also more likely to live in poverty and face other barriers that make them vulnerable, including language barriers or disability.
of the region’s overall population are seniors — as of 2016
of people who died from COVID-19 across Peel, Toronto, and York were aged 60 and over
increase in requests for assistance from the Toronto Seniors Helpline over the previous year — over a one-month-period
How we help
We aim to support services and programs that allow low-income seniors to have equal opportunities for healthy aging and excellent quality of life, while aging in community. Our approach is to focus on community group and peer initiatives, and in-home services that are free or low-cost, and that complement the basket of services offered through the health care system. Given the growing number of seniors and the human and financial costs of congregate living, developing strategies to help seniors age at home and in community is critical, including supports for caregivers.
I volunteered at North York Women’s Centre, teaching ladies how to sew. When the pandemic happened, they got funding from United Way to give myself and some of the other ladies tablets, and we started to meet online. This program has done a lot for people, especially single people like myself who live alone. The tablets have helped me stay in touch with the world and helped me to do activities and get support. When my family is having special dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we can have dinner at the same time and Zoom with each other. It helps me feel less isolated.Pearlie
Here’s how your local love helped GTA seniors last year:
Seniors increased their knowledge and confidence in navigating and accessing support and services
Seniors received support to connect with others, the community, or needed services
Seniors improved or maintained their physical and/or mental health