National Seniors Council report on the social isolation of seniors

November 24, 2014

On November 24th, the National Seniors Council (NSC) presented their report on the social isolation of seniors to the Minister of State (Seniors), the Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Minister of Health.  

The Ministers had identified social isolation as being of key importance to seniors’ overall well-being and mental health, pointing out that “Social isolation can lead to depression and increased vulnerability to elder abuse, among other concerns.” and “The lack of supportive social networks is linked to an increase in the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.” The NSC advises on matters relating to the well-being and quality of life of seniors, and since 2007 has presented five reports to federal Ministers, addressing such themes as low income among seniors, elder abuse, volunteerism, active aging, intergenerational relations, and labour force participation of older works at risk. The Council is made up of seniors, representatives of organizations that serve seniors, and experts on seniors and aging.

In the Report on the Social Isolation of Seniors, the NSC advises on four key roles that the Government of Canada could play to address the social isolation of seniors in Canada:

  1. Raise public awareness of the social isolation of seniors
  2. Promote improved access to information, services and programs for seniors
  3. Build the capacity of organizations to address isolation of seniors through social innovation
  4. Support research to better understand the issue of social isolation

To download the report, and review the consultation findings and selection of practices that the NSC found to be innovative and promising, visit the Government of Canada website: