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Helping Isolated Seniors During the Pandemic

Over 2,100 local isolated seniors received support thanks to the Federal New Horizons for Seniors Program and United Way Oxford.

OXFORD COUNTY - United Way Oxford has invested $52,000 to support the needs of local isolated and vulnerable seniors.

This was made possible thanks to a partnership between the Government of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada. The funding comes through the New Horizons for Seniors Program and the United Way Oxford local COVID fund. 

United Way Oxford was able to mobilize senior-serving organizations and quickly identify areas where there was opportunity to increase services, adapt programs, engage volunteers, subsidize supports and increase community awareness of available resources. 

The investments help over 2100 seniors and their caregivers from across Oxford County with almost 12,000 various types of interactions. Executive Director Kelly Gilson says that assistance would not have been possible without the federal government’s commitment to seniors and their confidence in the ability and leadership provided by United Ways across Canada.

"Utilizing local knowledge of community needs and an understanding of current gaps, United Way Oxford was able to make a variety of funding investments to quickly ensure enhanced services were available to meet the growing needs of seniors. The dedicated staff and volunteers from each of these funded partners were committed to making a positive difference and they did! Together, we also created a lasting legacy as the awareness program and promotion of the Central Intake Line for Oxford Seniors was widely shared across our community and will be helpful for seniors and their families for years to come."

Local MP Dave McKenzie says he was happy to see the money being put to good use.

"I am pleased to learn of the United Way‘s contribution to the New Horizons for Seniors, on behalf of the Federal Government. With support through programs such as this, it makes me proud to represent Oxford. Programs supporting Seniors are always a worthy endeavour. Having been a part of United Way Oxford, I recognize the importance for community funding." 

United Way Oxford invested the full $47,114 of Oxford funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, as well as additional local funding, to support the following agencies as they connected with and provided services to vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in our community:

- VON Oxford: Distributed “Help for Seniors is Available” postcards to every Oxford County residence to increase awareness for services, resulting in 89 new registrants; provided 23 grocery order drop-offs; delivered 376 care packages to 226 seniors and caregivers by providing 701 meals, subsidies and 35 emergency food boxes.

- Ingersoll Services for Seniors: Provided 245 older adults with 1652 healthy meals and were able to offer subsidies for those that required financial assistance. Additionally, they expanded their Grocery Buddy Program by providing 19 pick-up and delivery services to help those most isolated.

- Tillsonburg District Multi-Service Centre: Supported 77 seniors with 950 hot or frozen meals as well as grocery delivery supports. In addition to providing nutritious food, and financial subsidies where needed, their volunteers were able to provide a wellness/security check to ensure that the isolated seniors were managing safely in their residence.

- South Gate Seniors Centre: Connected with 1016 older adults, through 7204 various interactions, to promote physical activity, connections with peers, education, and service interventions by adapting their programming to enable it to be accessed from home through their new ‘Seniors Centres Without Walls’ phone and Internet programming.

- Alzheimer’s Society of Oxford: Created 140 Activity Kits to provide appropriate, meaningful activities for people with dementia as well as a break for their care partner. Kits will continue to offer easy to follow engaging opportunities that will be able to be enjoyed for many months to come and can be expanded to include opportunities for the entire family to participate. 

Support for seniors requiring assistance continues to be available across Oxford County.For information on various programs and services, please call 211. You can listen to the interview with United Way Oxford Executive Director Kelly Gilson below:

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