Critical Support for Seniors During COVID-19

As Canada grappled with the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, several provinces and territories declared states of emergency, implemented limits on public activities, and urged caution for those most at risk, naming seniors as a particularly vulnerable population. This had an immediate effect on the many community programs and services that vulnerable seniors rely on.

With the local knowledge and accountable grant-making capacity of our network, United Way Centraide Canada was selected by the Government of Canada to quickly deploy funds to front-line community service organizations that delivered local solutions to support vulnerable seniors.

The New Horizons Seniors Program funding disbursed by United Way Centraide Canada supported some of the urgent and growing needs of seniors that arose as a result of pandemic measures.

A senior is thinking about food, hospital and family

Impact: Dignity and Care


received grants




vulnerable seniors
offered support




touch points with vulnerable seniors


“My daily life under COVID, it’s very difficult. The telephone becomes your connection with the world. Knowing the phone is going to ring, means there’s something happening in the day and we’re not just looking at a day of empty time.”
— Alma, Good Companions Program user.
The Good Companion Program is a recipient of the NHSP funding program.

How Programs and Services Were Chosen

Funding was quickly distributed to programs and services that:

  • Ensured basic needs were met (provision of food, cleaning services, hygiene products)
  • Reduced social isolation (virtual programming, telephone check-ins, mental health supports)
  • Could be maintained/adapted to safely support seniors.

Organizations Funded

Happy african senior couple having breakfast

Providing Seniors with Culturally Appropriate, Hot Meals

During COVID-19, Roots Community Services provided 96 seniors with hot Carribean meals 1-2 times a week.

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Providing Comfort to Palliative Care Patients Through New Technology

The Grande Prairie Palliative Care Society used New Horizons Seniors Program funding to enhance their iPad loan program to help families stay connected during COVID-19.

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Multi-service Connection Program for Seniors During Lockdown

Using NHFS funds, CMHA Manitoba was able to expand their services to help more seniors access critical support services when they were physically isolating.

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Government of Canada

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.