- 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.
- The OACAO provides you with a members-only List Serve that gives you instant access to more than 400 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.
- 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.
The list serve is an extremely useful tool! My colleagues are generous with their knowledge and experience; it is invaluable.”
Development Support & Resources
- For 40+ years, the OACAO has encouraged the development of new older adult centres in Ontario by providing advice, information and resources.
- We also provide you with useful, comprehensive information on centre management, design and operation.
- You can obtain valuable resource materials and publications supporting development from us, including:
- 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
The OACAO is the voice of older adult centres as both liaison and advocate with:
- Ontario Minister of Seniors Affairs
- Ministry of Seniors Affairs
- The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
On your behalf, 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
- Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
- Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO)
For member centres, we provide recognition and certificates for special occasions and milestones.
- We promote your organization in the OACAO Membership Directory and 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.
- In 1983, the OACAO was instrumental in creating the Ontario Senior Games program which involves Centres in the role of organizing, promoting and running the games to this day.
- 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 been able to obtain the financial support of the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat to fund Seniors Information and Active Living Fairs for several years.
- 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.
- We worked closely with the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat (OSS) (now Ministry of Seniors Affairs) as the EPC transitioned from MOHLTC to OSS.
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
Any older adult centre or senior centre 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
Any 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 or Individual Service Providers
Any senior citizens club, any seniors’ council or individual service providers.
Any student, volunteer, senior, friend – interested in the work of the OACAO.
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.”