Seniors support, outreach, and networking
Vancouver has smaller, neighbourhood-based centres and groups scattered throughout the city to provide support and engagement opportunities for seniors.
These centres - and the programs they offer - have been developed largely through the efforts of committed people in the different neighbourhoods or communities.
Available programs and facilities include:
- Seniors centres
- Outreach services
- Networking opportunities
- Help preparing income taxes
Seniors' centres supported by the City
The City helps support a number of seniors’ centres and groups, either through grants, or by providing buildings or operating space. Examples include:
- 411 Seniors Centre
- West End Seniors Network
- South Granville Seniors Centre
- SUCCESS Seniors Quality of Life
These centres and groups are important resources for Vancouver seniors, and provide services such as:
- Peer counseling
- English, Chinese, and Indigenous speaking drop in programs
- Outreach for isolated or home-bound seniors
- Falls prevention programs
How to find a seniors' centre near you
Seniors' centers and groups are neighbourhood based, and located across the city.
Outreach for seniors
If you are over the age of 55 – and have barriers to leaving your home – you qualify for help in your home from a 411 Seniors’ Center outreach counselor.
An outreach counselor can help you apply for important programs, such as:
- Seniors' benefits (Canada Pension, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Disability pension)
- Housing (shelter referrals, BC Housing programs, SAFER)
- Referrals for legal information
- Commission of Affidavits for services and filling out applications
Finally, a counselor can refer you to appropriate community services, such as advocacy groups who help with issues like poverty, elder abuse, and legal services.
About the counselors
The 411 Seniors’ Outreach Counselors are volunteers who have been interviewed and carefully screened, and have had extensive training.
The counselors speak many languages, are non-judgmental, and open to differences and diversity. They treat all requests with confidentiality.
How to get help
Anyone can ask for help from a counselor:
- A family member or friend
- Your healthcare professional (provided they have your consent)
There is no cost for this service.
Help filing income taxes
It is important that you file a tax return each you so that you receive all of the government benefits you are entitled to.
To help you, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) trains volunteers to help low and fixed income seniors with their tax returns.
These volunteers hold tax preparations clinics in community centres throughout Vancouver, where they help prepare simple tax returns for free.
How to get help with income taxes
Contact a centre, below, for dates and times:
|411 Seniors Centre
|Downtown East Education Centre
|Gordon Neighbourhood House
|ISS of BC
|604-684-2561 ext. 1132
|Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
|Multicultural Helping House Society
|South Granville Seniors Centre
|Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Services Society
|West End Seniors’ Network (WESN)
Networking for seniors
The Vancouver Cross Cultural Seniors Network is for seniors from all backgrounds who want to get together to share information, learn from each other, and work on common issues.
The Network is particularly interested in identifying and working on problems that seniors experience when trying to access services and resources.
The Network meets once a month at the Trout Lake Community Center. Everyone with an interest in seniors’ issues is welcome.