- A vast network of staff and volunteers is available to help with your questions. You can keep better informed about older adults’ issues and interests at regional and provincial levels.
- Four seasonal newsletters bring you up-to-date on matters of interest and concern as well as member news during the year. As a member, you are invited to contribute and highlight your Centre’s activities and achievements in the newsletter.
- Our website provides instant access to electronic information as well as useful contacts. It also provides you with links to other organizations, our business partners and some major strategic alliances. Free postings on our Job and/or Volunteer Board.
- OACAO will follow members who have a Twitter account. OACAO will endeavor to retweet, comment and support activities on members’ accounts including sharing information and links for upcoming events/activities/news.
- OACAO will follow members who have a Facebook page. OACAO will endeavor to like, comment on or share on members’ pages including sharing information and links for upcoming events/activities/news.
- The OACAO provides you a members-only List Serve that gives you instant access to more than 475 individuals who work in the field of older adults. You can share issues and concerns; send out questions and receive responses and receive up-to-the-minute, useful information. New OACAO members will be introduced to membership via List Serve.
- To help you develop knowledge and skills for your volunteers and staff, the OACAO offers numerous opportunities. The workshops and seminars provided at our annual conference have passed along cutting edge information and idea regeneration for many years. They are also excellent venues for dialogue and networking. We also provide workshops at regional and local levels. As active participants in the conference and workshops and also as speakers, members hone their own skills. (Note: the 2020 Conference may be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
- OACAO membership provides 10% discount off our annual Aging Well Conference fee, exclusive access to OASSIS Not-for-Profit Employee Benefit Plan and gain access to special corporate deals from our Business Partners.
- OACAO offers Regional Training and Networking opportunities through Workshops or Webinars on current and timely topics that are of interest to the Seniors Active Living Centres (SALC) sector.
The list serve is an extremely useful tool! My colleagues are generous with their knowledge and experience; it is invaluable.”
Development Support & Resources
- For 47 years, the OACAO has encouraged the development of new older adult centres in Ontario by providing advice, information and resources.
- Networking through regional development, Member Forums and access to a “members only” section on our website for up-to-date information.
- One-year free membership for Cyber-Seniors online portal technology training program.
- The following resource materials and publications are available to members:
- Older Adult Centres’ Profile – 2015 Member Profile Survey; statistical data
- Measuring the Impact of EPC’s in Ontario Report on the EPC Outcome Survey 2013
- Building Bridges to Tomorrow: A User Profile of Older Adult Centres in Ontario
The OACAO has always been a great support and resource to the Whitby Seniors’ Activity Centre and centres throughout Durham Region. The organization works hard to represent seniors’ centres and their needs in the province.”
Strategic Liaisons & Networking
Business Partners who provide valuable services and products for seniors/older adults. Webinars and resources will be developed to highlight our Business Partners.
The OACAO is the voice of older adult centres as both liaison and advocate with:
- Ontario Minister for Seniors and Accessibility
- Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility
- The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
We also maintain effective strategic alliances with other important provincial organizations:
- Ontario Community Support Association
- Active Aging Canada (formerly Active Living Coalition for Older Adults (ALCOA))
- Alzheimer Society of Ontario
- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For member centres, we provide recognition and certificates for special occasions and milestones. Please contact OACAO office to request certificates.
- We promote your organization in the OACAO Membership Directory and interactive “Find an Older Adult Centre” map on our website.
- Members can access our Awards Program that recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of older adult centres by fellow practitioners, volunteers and students.
- OACAO provides access to a very affordable Group Benefit Program (OASSIS). OASSIS is a Not-for-Profit Employee Benefit Plan for Community-Based Organizations. Agencies with as few as 1 employee can access the program. The OACAO is one of the original Core Sponsoring Associations of OASSIS and continues to have representation on their Board of Trustees. www.oassisplan.com
Funding Support & Other Benefits
- On your behalf, we apply for funding and grants to develop new programs and initiatives that can be delivered through centres. We are proud to have obtained the financial support of the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility to fund Seniors Information and Active Living Fairs for several years. For 2020-2021, the OACAO is working closely with the Ministry to offer training and support for Seniors’ Centre Without Walls programs (telephone-based community outreach program to keep seniors connected and socially engaged in their communities). More details will be shared soon.
- We worked closely with the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA) as the EPC transitioned from MOHLTC to OSS.
- The OACAO has worked hard to have changes made to the Elderly Persons Centres Grant, resulting in substantial increases and expansion to the program in 1988, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010. The 2017 Ontario Budget announced another $8 million over the next 3 years for 40 new EPCs by 2018-2019.
- The OACAO worked with MSAA to modernize the EPC legislation which was proclaimed on October 1, 2017 and is now called Seniors Active Living Centres (SALC).
As you can see, the OACAO is an active, vital organization working to help you provide the best experience for the members of your centre or organization.
- Full Member Centre
An older adult centre or senior centre in Ontario that acts as a community facility providing a diversity of activities and services to the local older adult population. Fees are determined by annual gross operating expenditures.
- Associate Agency/Service Provider Agency
A non-profit/charity agency, including service provider agencies, other than older adult centres, involved in work with older adults OR a municipal recreation department that does not have a dedicated older adult centre and provides recreation programs to older adults.
- Seniors Club/Seniors Council
A senior citizens club, any seniors’ council operated by volunteers with no full-time staff support.
- Individual Supporter
Any student, volunteer, senior, friend interested in the work of the OACAO. Non-voting.
The OACAO is an organization that I am proud to be part of for the various accomplishments and milestones they have achieved. It has more than proven its worth via information sharing, funding opportunities and advocating for older adults and centres throughout Ontario, at various levels of Government.”