Support for Seniors

List of the most commonly used programs and services available to Seniors in Ontario

 

Health care programs and services

Seniors in Ontario have access to many health care programs and services in their communities.

Find health care services at Health Care Options.

Get more information about how to access provincial health care programs and services including:

  • the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program - provides free, routine dental services for low-income seniors who are 65 years of age or older
  • the Ontario Drug Benefit Program – helps people age 65 and older pay for prescription drugs (with a valid Ontario health card)
  • the Low-Income Seniors Co-Payment Drug Program – helps seniors with low incomes (under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program)
  • the Assistive Devices Program – provides support if you have a long-term physical disability and provides access to personalized assistive devices
  • Health Care Connect – helps you find a doctor or nurse practitioner if you don’t have one
  • Telehealth Ontario – call this confidential telephone service for health advice or general health information from a registered nurse
  • Thehealthline.ca–find a list of health and community services in your area
  • ConnexOntario – provides information and referral services to access mental health and addictions (drug, alcohol, problem gambling) supports across the province

 

Home and Community Care

Home and Community Care Support Services organizations provide patient care including home care and long-term care home placement services and facilitate access to community services. If you qualify, the Ontario government pays for a wide range of services in your home and community. If you don’t qualify, you may be eligible for community support services that often have a client co-payment. You can also get help from private companies for a fee. To find out if you are eligible, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/homecare-seniors#section-1

In-home services available through Home and Community Care Support Services organizations are made up of:

Health care professionals

You can arrange to have health professionals visit you in your home. They can assess your needs, provide care or help you to care for yourself by providing:

  • nursing care – including help to take medications, change bandages and clean wounds, recover from an injury or health problem, check your health, create a care plan
  • physiotherapy – including help for back pain, mobility problems, blood circulation, pain relief and relaxation
  • occupational therapy – including help to make day-to-day activities easier and make it easier to move around in your home
  • speech-language therapy – including stroke recovery for seniors who have difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • social work – including help for caregivers to cope and manage stress, help for families to address conflicts
  • healthy eating – including help to assess eating habits and create a healthy eating plan
  • home healthcare supplies – including dressings, walking aids, braces, cushions

Personal care

You can arrange for health care professionals to help you with your daily care or help you safely manage these activities yourself. They can help you with:

  • washing and bathing
  • mouth care
  • hair care
  • preventative skin care
  • routine hand or foot care
  • getting in and out of chairs, vehicles or beds
  • dressing and undressing
  • eating
  • toileting
  • taking you to appointments

Homemaking

To help maintain a safe and comfortable home, homemaking services can assist you with routine household activities including:

  • housecleaning
  • doing laundry
  • shopping
  • banking
  • paying bills
  • planning menus
  • preparing menus
  • caring for children

Family-managed home care/Self-directed care

For greater flexibility and choice, if you’re eligible for services through your Home and Community Care Supports Services organization, you may be eligible to receive funding directly to pay for home care services. You are responsible for the related administrative tasks, such as finding, hiring and paying your service providers, but you also have the freedom to choose your provider, direct how they care for you or your loved one and set a schedule that best works for you.

This program is available for the following people with home care needs:

  • children with complex medical needs
  • adults with an acquired brain injury
  • home-schooled children with qualifying health care needs
  • those in extraordinary circumstances

Contact your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization to find out if you are eligible and for more information on how this program works.



End-of-life care at home

If you or a loved one requires end-of-life care at home, there are many programs in Ontario that can help you. You can request:

  • nursing and personal care
  • medical supplies, including low-cost medication for seniors through the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan
  • tests
  • hospital and sickroom equipment
  • transportation to other health services
  • help to manage pain
  • home hospice services – including in-home visits and respite care by trained volunteers

Community supports 

Get information about programs that are available in your community including:

  • the Ontario Community Support Program refers isolated seniors and people with disabilities to local Meals on Wheels providers and other community service agencies. If you can’t register online or if you require service in a language other than English or French, call:
  • Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious and affordable meals to a variety of groups, including: seniors, and people with physical disabilities and cognitive impairments
  • 211 Ontario finds programs in your community such as social, non-clinical health and related government services

 

Seniors Active Living Centres

These centres offer social, cultural, learning and recreational programs. Contact your local centre to see if virtual or telephone programming is available.

 

Seniors Safety Line

The Seniors Safety Line is a 24/7, confidential and free resource that provides information, referrals and support in over 150 languages for seniors experiencing abuse. Trained counsellors also provide safety planning and supportive counseling.

Call 1-866-299-1011 for support. If you are in danger right now, call 911 or your local police.

 

Ontario Caregiver Helpline

Provides caregivers with a one-stop resource for information and support, including a 24/7 helpline.

Call 1-833-416-2273 or connect to live chat online.

 

Volunteer opportunities

Help seniors, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable stay connected and healthy as they self-isolate. Volunteer organizations can visit SPARK Ontario to post volunteer opportunities available in their communities.

 

 

For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer (LGBTQ) Seniors

 

The 519

This downtown Toronto community centre offers a wide range of programs and services, including the Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) program, which offers a weekly drop-in program and a monthly book club for LGBTQ men and women over the age of 50.

416-392-6874

www.the519.org

 

Senior Pride Network

This network is an association of individuals, organizations and community groups that are committed to expanding programs and services for LGBTQ individuals aged 50+ in Toronto and throughout Canada.

c/o The 519

416-392-6874

www.seniorpridenetwork.com

 

  

Tax credits and benefits

There are several provincial and federal tax credit and benefit programs for seniors, including:

 

Medical: 

Depending on your annual income, you may be able to have the Ontario Drug Benefit Program $100 annual deductible waived and have your co-payment reduced to $2 per prescription.

If you have high prescription drug costs and a low household income, you may be able to pay $2 or less for every prescription.

Find out if the cost of your prescription drugs are covered by the province.

 

Income 

If you are 65+ years old and receive the federal Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement payments, you could get up to $83 per month to ensure your income stays above a certain amount. 

For low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Apply for an annual deferral of part of the provincial land tax and education tax increases. 

Provides low-income consumers with a monthly on-bill credit to reduce electricity bills.

 

Home and Transportation

  • Seniors Home Safety Tax Credit (2021)
    Helping seniors stay in the homes they love, longer, by implementing the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit for 2021. This new credit, announced in November 2020, will provide an estimated $30 million in support for about 27,000 seniors and people who live with senior relatives.

If you’re 65 years or older, find out if you could get a tax credit to help with public transit costs. 

You could get money to help with the cost of making your home and vehicle more accessible if you or your child has a disability that restricts mobility. 

If you are 64+ years old and own a home, you could get up to $500 to help with the cost of property taxes.

 

 

Government pensions

Seniors in Ontario can apply for pensions and programs from both the federal and provincial governments.

Find out about eligibility requirements, how much money you could receive, and how to apply for the:

  • Canada Pension Plan – provides pensions and benefits when contributors retire, become disabled, or pass away
  • Old Age Security pension – a monthly payment available to most people age 65 or older. In some cases, Service Canada will be able to automatically enroll you for the OAS pension. In other cases, you will have to apply for the Old Age Security pension. Service Canada will inform you if you have been automatically enrolled.
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement – provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada
  • Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) – a provincial program that ensures a guaranteed minimum income for qualifying Ontario seniors. Monthly payments are on top of the federal Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement payments you may also receive

 

Pensions and benefits for veterans

Benevolent funds assist veterans, ex-service personnel and their dependants. The assistance is usually for basic needs such as food and housing.

 

Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission

The Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission provides assistance to Canadian veterans in need who served overseas and their dependants living in Ontario. The assistance is provided on a one-time basis to resolve a specific problem when all other resources have been exhausted. It does not support ongoing needs related to income deficiencies.

Funds may be granted to assist with buying:

  • health-related items, like hearing aids, glasses, prescription drugs or dental needs
  • home-related items, like rent, repairs, moving costs, furniture, repair/replacement of roof and furnace
  • specialized equipment, like assistive devices, wheelchairs and prosthetics
  • personal items, like clothing and specialized support services

Get information and apply for benevolent funds, including Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission, by contacting your local Royal Canadian Legion or Veterans Affairs Canada office.

 

Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada offers a range of services and benefits to eligible veterans and others. The benefits are available for conditions related to service in the Merchant Navy, Canadian Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or those serving in support of the Canadian Forces in wartime or in Special Duty/Operational Areas.

Get more information and find out how to apply for:

 

 Health care programs and services

Seniors in Ontario have access to many health care programs and services in their communities.

Find health care services at Health Care Options.

Get more information about how to access provincial health care programs and services including:

  • the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program - provides free, routine dental services for low-income seniors who are 65 years of age or older
  • the Ontario Drug Benefit Program – helps people age 65 and older pay for prescription drugs (with a valid Ontario health card)
  • the Low-Income Seniors Co-Payment Drug Program – helps seniors with low incomes (under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program)
  • the Assistive Devices Program – provides support if you have a long-term physical disability and provides access to personalized assistive devices
  • Health Care Connect – helps you find a doctor or nurse practitioner if you don’t have one
  • Telehealth Ontario – call this confidential telephone service for health advice or general health information from a registered nurse
  • Thehealthline.ca–find a list of health and community services in your area
  • ConnexOntario – provides information and referral services to access mental health and addictions (drug, alcohol, problem gambling) supports across the province

 

Vaccinations

Vaccines protect you and those around you from serious preventable diseases. Ontario offers the following free vaccines for adults, including those 65 years of age and older:

  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (once in adulthood) Tetanus and diphtheria (every 10 years)
  • Flu shot (every fall)
  • Pneumococcal (at age 65)
  • Shingles (one dose between ages 65 and 70)

Get information about free vaccines, including shingles, and how to get them.

 

Staying active

Staying active is important for your health and quality of life.

It is recommended that adults ages 65 and over get 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Learn more about:

Staying mentally and socially engaged is also key to good overall health. There are a number of programs and services to help you get active. You can:

 

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Find information about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias from the:

 

Prevent falls and injuries

Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors and roughly half of these occur at home. Fortunately, many falls are preventable.

The Fall Prevention Seminar is a one-hour program designed to inform seniors on how to prevent falls and maintain their independence.

Available in English and French, the seminars:

  • provide practical information and tools to help prevent falls and injuries
  • look at health issues that put seniors at risk of falling in their home and community

Call 1-888-910-1999 or email for more information and to find a seminar near you.

 

The Government of Canada also has resources to help seniors stay safe at home and prevent falls, including:

 

Federal Programs and Services for Seniors

In addition to the federal programs already identified in the above list, please find additional information and resources at the following web-page:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/seniors.html