The Government of Canada announced new funding last week for a program to help with social isolation among Canada’s seniors. The plan calls for 3.7 million dollars in funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program, a pan-Canadian project designed to study and address social isolation among targeted populations of Canada’s elderly. The funding will be distributed over three years to the Toronto Engagement to Reduce Isolations of Caregivers at Home and Enhancing Seniors (ENRICHES) Collective Impact Plan, which seeks to identify and assist socially isolated senior caregivers in the GTA. The focus for ENRICHES will be to produce measurable results through collaboration with community health partners, including the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, and care facilities.
The following six GTA organizations were identified:
- Alzheimer Society Toronto
- Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto
- WoodGreen Community Services
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- North York Community House
- Sinai Health System – The Reitman Centre
Learn more about the projects directly on the Government of Canada’s website.
What does this mean for Seniors in the GTA?
The Toronto ENRICHES plan targets isolated seniors who are caregivers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)—a highly populated and culturally diverse area. Partners in the plan’s six socially innovative projects will work collaboratively to deliver measurable results to reduce social isolation in this population. The overall impact of their concerted effort will have far-reaching benefits for metro seniors who are caregivers and for the existing network of GTA seniors-serving organizations.
Currently, a wide range of information for seniors, including details on the NHSP and the Government of Canada – Action for Seniors report, is available at Canada.ca/Seniors. Also on this website, your can find the National Seniors Council‘s Report on the Social Isolation of Seniors, 2013–2014 which highlighted the importance of working with a wide array of dedicated organizations that deliver services and programs to alleviate isolation among seniors.
“We are very grateful that the Government of Canada recognizes the opportunity it has to support an entire generation of senior caregivers who are looking after their loved ones, often alone, in isolation and with limited support. The ENRICHES partners are honored that our collaborative partnership is recognized and supported with funding to reach isolated senior caregivers, making their lives, and those of the loved ones they care for, better.”
– Kevin Goldthorp, CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto and Executive Vice-President, Advancement & Marketing, Sinai Health System