Ontario Creates 40 New Seniors Active Living Centres

With this expansion, Ontario now supports programs at more than 300 Seniors Active Living Centres across the province. View communities funded for new Centres. The Ministry of Seniors Affairs is committed to promoting the development of age-friendly communities and programs that acknowledge the contribution of seniors and keeps seniors active, healthy and engaged. 

The Seniors Active Living Centres Act, 2017 (SALCA was recently proclaimed and replaces the Elderly Persons Centres Act, 1966, (EPCA).  It is the framework of a more modern and responsive program. The new act affirms the government’s mandate to support seniors in remaining independent, active, healthy and socially engaged. It allows for more program flexibility to better meet the needs of Ontario’s seniors who are diverse in terms of their culture, age, needs, interests, abilities and geographic locations. Seniors Active Living Centres, formerly known as Elderly Persons Centres, are deemed an important aspect of the creating age-friendly communities and social environments and serve approximately 100,000 older adults each year.

Centres offer seniors a range of activities tailored to the unique interests and needs of the community and may include, but are not limited to fitness classes, healthy lifestyle and wellness classes, social engagement, and learning opportunities such as financial management, and elder abuse.  Might this be an opportunity for an OT to introduce or lead or consult to programs?

Implications for Occupational Therapists
The foci and goals of occupational therapists working with seniors in Ontario are congruent to the goals of the Ministry of Seniors Affairs – to enable seniors to lead healthy, active, independent and engaged lives.  While not staffed with health professionals, occupational therapists may wish to learn more about Seniors Active Living Centres in their communities for the following purposes:

  • to be aware of the services and programs that could be accessible to the clients they serve
  • to meet with Centre staff to share information about occupational therapy and services that support seniors independence
  • to explore opportunities for consultation, participation in programs as a speaker, etc. in order to bring an OT perspective to the range of Centre programs

OSOT encourages occupational therapists to consider innovative ways in which to promote access to occupational therapy.  Why not check out a Seniors Active Living Centre near you.