Activate Seniors! Community Innovation Hub Kit Profile

Elderly woman sits at a cafe table. Activate Seniors!
Photo by Brett Sayles on

Seniors across Canada and America use their skills, knowledge, experience to give back to their communities everyday. We can see examples everywhere of seniors running social enterprises and small businesses, and providing non-profits and charities with volunteer power.

The Community Innovation Hub has created an Activate Seniors! Kit for communities and organizations wanting to build a volunteer base of seniors. A senior is a person who is 55 years old or older.


Seniors work hard to improve their communities for a variety of reasons:

  • Socially Beneficial: Volunteering at events at local religious institutions, parks, and museums is a great way to interact with a wide range of community members.
  • Good for Mental Cognition: Volunteering provides opportunities to keep conversation flowing, stimulate the brain, and keep overall cognitive functioning sharp and optimized. 
  • To Give Back To The Community: Volunteering lets people of all ages and backgrounds make a positive impact on their community.
  • Physically Engaging: Many volunteer commitments help people get exercise and stay in shape. Whether it’s such campaigning door-to-door for candidates during elections, helping build community gardens, or shoveling show, physical activity is a vital part of everyone’s life!
  • Educational: Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills that employment wouldn’t permit.
  • Flexible Way to Spend Time: Volunteering gets people out of the house a couple times a week and participating in community life, on the person’s preferred schedule.

Volunteering gives seniors something to look forward to and opportunities for organizations to increase the diversity of age groups, backgrounds, skills, and life experience involved in their governance and activities.

Senior Volunteering – Case Study

After losing her husband on Christmas to prolonged illness on Christmas Day, an elderly woman realized that she’d also lost her full-time job as his caregiver. She’d had time for nothing else for almost a year. What would she do now?

While she was grieving, the thought of taking on anything else was too much. But eventually she felt that she wanted to do something with her time – get out and meet and meet some people and get involved in her community. A former nursing teacher at Ryerson University, the idea of volunteering appealed to her, and she began to look for opportunities to put her skills to use.

10 Best Volunteer Activities in Retirement

Finding Senior Volunteers

Organizations that are seeking senior volunteers might want to approach these resources in their area:

  • Seniors’ communities such as Swan Lake Village
  • Seniors’ clubs
  • College or university alumnae groups
  • Pension groups (from corporate HR departments, government, non-profits, charities, academic institutions)
  • Senior volunteer groups and service clubs
  • Adult (children of seniors) referral groups
  • Professionals such as accountants, lawyers, or doctors. Many individuals who lose a spouse have incredible difficulties dealing with legal, financial and administrative tasks that face regards to the estate. Volunteers could provide priceless support.

Ways to reach out to these groups include:

  • Design e-flyers: Distribute to above groups and for communities of faith to include in their bulletins, web sites, posters
  • Write articles: Submit to above groups and local media. Have on-line and hard copy available for newsletters, magazines, newspapers, web sites, social media.
  • Use opportunities for no cost advertising: Do presentations in person and on-line, run workshops on diaries/journals, video diaries, conduct diaries/journals and video diaries with grandparents and parents, siblings, cousins

How We Can Help

The Community Innovation Hub Activate Seniors! Kit provides details on how to develop and implement a plan to get the seniors in your community involved and engaged. We include the Activate Seniors! Kit with our One-Year Membership (as well as access to all our other Kits) along with support to put your plans into action. A yearly membership is just $100.

For more information about becoming a Community Innovation Hub Member, visit our website, email us at, or leave us a comment on this post. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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