Defining the Sector

What are Community-based Seniors’ Services?

Community-based seniors’ services provide seniors with access to a range of low-barrier programs in six core areas:

  1. Nutritional Supports
  2. Affordable Housing
  3. Health and Wellness
  4. Physical Activity
  5. Education, Recreation and Creative Arts Programs
  6. Information, Referral, and Advocacy
  7. Transportation

These programs and services are offered through a range of municipal and non-profit agencies including:

  • Senior centres
  • Community centres
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Community coalitions
  • Ethno-cultural organizations
  • Multi-service non-profit societies

Community-based seniors’ services receive funding from a variety of sources including:

  • Municipal governments
  • Community foundations
  • The United Way
  • Local businesses/donors
  • The federal New Horizons Program
  • Community Gaming Grants
  • Regional health authorities
  • The Ministry of Health

How Does the Sector Contribute to the Health and Resilience of Seniors?

Community-based seniors’ services contribute to the health and resilience of seniors in many ways, including:

  • Connecting seniors to community and health system resources
  • Supporting home bound and isolated seniors
  • Providing affordable and nutritious meals
  • Providing physical activity programs (including those targeting seniors with different levels of health/ability)
  • Providing social support and practical assistance
  • Providing opportunities for socialization
  • Providing opportunities for volunteering
  • Providing education on topics of interest for seniors

Please see our report Raising the Profile of the Community-Based Seniors’ Services Sector in B.C.:  A Review of the Literature for research on the benefits of community-based seniors’ services.