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Social isolation grant triggers cascade of positive outcomes in Prince Edward County

In 2017, the RTOERO Foundation provided a $25,000 grant to The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association, a non-profit organization in Prince Edward County, to support an innovative community project to address social isolation among older adults in the community. The story of that grant’s impact didn’t stop when the project was completed—it triggered a cascade of positive outcomes for the agency and community.

About the project


  • At the time of the grant application to the RTOERO Foundation, Prince Edward County was the census division with  the second-highest concentration of adults aged 65 and older in Ontario and the sixth-highest in Canada.
  • In 2016, Age Friendly Community Consultations were held in the county that identified a need to address social isolation.

Project summary

The project was a partnership between Community Care and organizations providing frontline service in the county: police, firefighters, paramedics, rural mail couriers and library staff. The frontline providers helped to identify older adults who would benefit from deeper engagement in the community. They learned that seniors wanted programs closer to home. The partner organizations each provided four workshops related to their area of expertise at different local venues in the area.


  • As a result of the engagement activities, Community Care could attract new seniors to their agency and introduce them to the other services that could support their well-being. Registration increased for the other programs. 

Read more about the project in the summer 2018 issue of Renaissance Magazine.

Since the project

The project’s impact goes beyond those individuals who were reached directly during the year-long outreach and engagement activities. Here are some of the related outcomes:

Mindset shift from services to programming

Before the 2017 project, Community Care had a more service-based focus, providing meals on wheels, escorted transportation, reassurance calls and foot care clinics. With its emphasis on partnerships and activities to address social isolation, the project shifted the organization’s focus to include more programming for seniors.

Staff capacity building and hiring

Community Care hired a project coordinator for the duration of the project. That coordinator was such an asset to the organization that she became a permanent employee.

Application for government funding for new program

The results of the social isolation project helped to bolster a successful application to the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility for the development of a Seniors Active Living Program. At the pandemic’s start, the program shifted to an online focus—providing virtual art, social and health and fitness programming.

We know there’s often a ripple effect of our actions. In this case, a $25,000 initial grant set off a chain of events that is continuing to impact lives in meaningful ways in Prince Edward County, Ontario. This project is a perfect example of the sustainable, long-term impact the foundation aims to support and inspire. We choose projects to award grants to based on the hope that they will result in significant, long-term benefits to older adults, far beyond the project timeframe.

Thank you to our donors for making projects like this possible.