18 Resources That Provide Financial Help for Seniors

| 8 min read Crowdfunding

Retirement should be a stress-free time to fully relax and live comfortably. Yet 44% of non-retired Canadians aged 55-64 have savings of less than $5,000, according to a survey by The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). If you or someone you know is struggling financially, know that there are resources available to provide help and hope. Read on to discover ways to find financial help for seniors.

Organizations that help senior citizens

There are many fundraising platforms and nonprofit organizations that help senior citizens. Below we’ve listed some resources and charities you can turn to when you are in need of emergency financial assistance

1. Canadian Red Cross Senior Support Services

The Canadian Red Cross provides various support services, including assisted living services and home maintenance, to senior citizens across Canada. You can search for specific services on the charity’s website, or you can find which services are available in your location.

2. HelpAge Canada

Founded in 1975, HelpAge is a nonprofit organization that supports senior Canadians at risk of loneliness and isolation. Through programs like Age Better, which offers grants of up to $10,000 to community initiatives aligned with its mission, HelpAge aims to improve the quality of life for seniors in every province.

3. Crowdfunding to provide financial assistance for elderly

When you need financial help fast, crowdfunding is your answer. With GoFundMe, there are no long waiting periods to receive your funds. If you need help with GoFundMe, take a look at our blog that provides answers to top crowdfunding questions.

Government financial help for seniors

Retirement should be a peaceful time. Unfortunately, many in retirement worry about how to get help with bills, both for everyday necessities and unexpected emergencies. Thankfully, the government programs listed below provide much-needed financial help for seniors. 

4. Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

The Canada Pension Plan is a public pension that will provide you with an income after you retire. The program is open to retirees aged 60 or over who have made at least one contribution to the plan during their working life. Enrolment is not automatic, so if you want to receive pension payments, you need to apply in advance through the government website. Note that the equivalent plan for people in Québec is the Québec Pension Plan.

5. Old Age Security (OAS)

Old Age Security is a benefit paid to all eligible Canadians over the age of 65. Unlike CPP, you don’t have to pay into OAS in advance, and in most cases you will be enrolled automatically. There is a 10% increase in payments once you reach age 75.

6. Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)

The Guaranteed Income Supplement is a monthly payment available to Canadians aged 65 or older. The benefit is supplemental to Old Age Security, but unlike OAS, it’s means tested, so is only available to senior citizens with an income below a certain threshold. This threshold changes depending on your marital status and whether your spouse or partner also receives OAS.

7. Home Adaptation for Seniors’ Programs

Some provincial governments offer financial assistance for seniors to make adaptations to their homes, allowing them to maintain their independence for longer. The details of these programs differ by province: for example, Nova Scotia’s Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence program offers a $3,500 loan that does not need to be repaid if the homeowner resides in their home for at least six months after making the adaptations.

8. Assisted Living Program

The Assisted Living Program provides funding to social support services for people living on-reserve with chronic illness or disability. To receive assisted living support, individuals must be formally assessed by a healthcare provider as requiring social support services. 

9. Special Needs Assistance for Seniors

Available to residents of Alberta, the Special Needs Assistance for Seniors program provides financial support for three areas: health supports, personal supports, and appliances or furniture. Health supports include prescription costs and diabetes supplies, and personal supports cover a wide range of items, including clothing, housekeeping, and respite care. 

10. Tax credits for seniors

People in Canada aged 65 or older may benefit from certain tax credits, including a non-refundable amount of up to $7,898 per year. You can also deduct eligible medical expenses and claim back up to $20,000 per year in expenses for adaptations made to your home to make it more accessible.

11. Housing programs for seniors

Each province and territory in Canada offers its own housing programs for seniors, including rent assistance programs, home improvement assistance programs, and tax credits for homes. Eligibility will differ depending on the program, but most are designed to support people aged 65 or older.

12. Government benefits finder

The Government of Canada website has a benefits finder tool that you can use to search for financial assistance programs in different provinces and territories. By entering your age and some other personal information, you can find relevant government benefits programs, including those that support seniors.

Help for seniors living alone

Many seniors want to continue to live independently in their own homes but may need assistance with everyday activities like cooking and shopping. Thankfully, there are many programs that help seniors who are living by themselves.

13. Meals on Wheels Ontario

Meals on Wheels operates in 181 communities across Ontario, delivering home-cooked, nutritious meals to vulnerable groups, including seniors and people with physical disabilities. The nonprofit operates on a local level, so availability and delivery schedules will depend on your location.

14. Home and community support services

Regional home and community support services can provide support to isolated and vulnerable seniors and help them live independently at home. This can include ensuring that seniors receive the medical and rehabilitative care they need, to helping with everyday tasks and community engagement.

15. A Friendly Voice

A Friendly Voice is a free “warm line” that people aged 55 or over can call if they need someone to talk to. Operated by the nonprofit Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS), the service is available in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Benefits programs for seniors with pets

For seniors, owning a pet can provide a level of companionship that is essential to health and wellbeing. But owning a pet is costly, and some owners may find themselves worrying about how to get help with vet bills, pet food costs, and vaccinations. Thankfully, there are plenty of organizations that provide financial help for seniors with pets. 

16: ElderDog Canada

ElderDog is a charity that supports older people and senior dogs across Canada. The organization has a Dog Care Support program to assist with everyday pet care tasks like grooming and exercise, and it also provides rehoming services for older dogs that have been separated from their owners.

17. Humane Canada Pet Food Bank

Through its National Pet Food Bank grants, Humane Canada offers financial assistance to organizations that support owners in keeping their pets fed. Donations to Humane Canada are distributed to food banks and similar organizations that help those who struggle with the financial cost of feeding their pets.

18. Progressive Animal Welfare Services (PAWS)

PAWS offers a range of programs to help people on low incomes care for their pets. The organization offers vet care subsidies, including for spays and neuters, and runs educational programs to help people understand how to care for their beloved pets.

Crowdfunding success stories

Read about how others are using the power of crowdfunding to quickly raise money for seniors in need. 

Senior in need of support

Amanda Bain from London, ON, set up a fundraiser on behalf of a senior relative who needed rent support until she was eligible to receive her pension. Thanks to a number of generous donors, Amanda’s campaign exceeded its initial $5,500 goal, allowing her relative to cover the cost of rent until her pension was paid out.

Helping an LGBTQ2+ advocate retire

This crowdfunding campaign was set up to help Easter Armas, a lifelong advocate for the LGBTQ2+ community in Vancouver, transition into retirement. Easter spent decades helping other people, including providing free meals to those living with HIV and AIDs, and the community was ready to give back when she was in need of support. Over $20,000 was raised through the crowdfunder.

Find financial assistance for elderly in need

If you or a senior in your life needs financial aid, we’re here to help. With GoFundMe, you can help the elderly in need fast—without any lengthy applications or deadlines. Sign up today to start your fundraiser, and see what kind of difference you can make in the life of a friend or loved one.

Written by Ved Khan