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Serving You: September/October 2014

New Guide For Seniors Support Program

Statistics Canada reports the number of seniors (65+) in Canada is projected to increase to 9.8 million in 2036 and will represent about 25 per cent of the total population.

As the largest veterans and community-support organization in Canada, The Royal Canadian Legion has been assisting veterans and their families since 1926. What is not commonly known is that the Legion supports all Canadian seniors and believes they have a right to dignity and independence, that they can stay healthier and live longer if circumstances allow them to remain in their own homes, and that seniors have physical, psychological and social needs, all of which must be met if optimum health is to be maintained.

With a wealth of experience assisting veterans and their families, and approximately 1,440 branches in local communities, the Legion is uniquely positioned to support seniors. In fact, many branches have already developed and continue to expand on existing seniors programs in their local communities.

The concept of the Seniors Support Program is to allow seniors to socialize, learn something new and provide a change of scenery for those living alone. It also allows a few hours of respite for their caregivers on either a regular or occasional basis.

As the last Program Planning Guide was developed in 1991, a new updated version was long overdue. The new guide, Seniors Support Program: “The Home Away Initiative”, a Program Development Guide for Legion Branches, was developed by the Dominion Command Veterans, Service and Seniors (VSS) Committee and presented at the 2014 dominion convention in Edmonton. It contains practical and current resources that will help branches who are interested in starting or expanding on existing programs and is meant to be a helpful tool for branches.

With the ever increasing number of Canadian seniors, the Legion has the experience and capacity to provide assistance to all seniors. Branch support programs truly do make a difference in the lives and well-being of seniors.

This guide is available at

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