Who is OSSCO©?

OSSCO© is a provincial organization and a registered charity. We were established in 1987 to bring together seniors, keep them educated and informed as well as engaged on current issues. We focus on making aging easier…for everyone through education, research and public policy.

Through our member organizations which represent 500,000 older adults across Ontario, their members have access to unique, practical, educational programming delivered in THE OSSCO WAY© through Peer Facilitators.

Our learning principles recognize the 4 Stages of Aging Model.  Applying these principles to developing and delivering programs specific to people in the 4 Stages of Aging Model results in programs that are unique, specific to people in the 4 stages of aging and helps them be independent, financially secure and living safely in their communities.  This approach is captured as THE OSSCO WAY©, resulting in the production and delivery of learning programs for people aged 55 -64, 65 – 74, 75 – 84 and older.

OSSCO©  programs are delivered in a variety of methods including in person, through Zoom, self-directed programs, by mail, social media and through OSSCO© ‘s YouTube channel.

OSSCO© Milestones

2022 to present: OSSCO© offers evening programs, free of charge to 55+. Ontario’s largest “free of charge” Senior’s Conference has been expanded. It is now joined with a 55+ Lifestyles & Learning Exhibition.

2022: Diversify: Older Adults Add Value Virtual Symposium  is delivered to showcase the benefits that older workers make to businesses. Standards are created to recognize businesses who attract, recruit and retain older workers.  The report Addressing the Challenges of Older Workers’ Finding Work: Reviewing the Outcomes of an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant authored by National Organization on Aging and Longevity (NOAL) is published. It identifies the benefits to older unemployed workers to find employment with peer specific training, delivered by a Peer Facilitator.

2020 to present: Telelearning program is launched, offering seniors virtual learning on Zoom or by teleconference technology for 9-months each year.

2020: Step-Up to Elder Abuse Workshop is presented to more than 350 seniors in Toronto with 7 videos produced resources. Report is published.

2017 to 2021: OSSCO© partners with 5 organizations to offer Job Search and Employment Networking Group programs in Toronto and the GTA to enhance older unemployed workers economic opportunities. The report What Older Long Term Unemployed Adults (50 – 70) Need to Enhance Economic Opportunities authored by Jamie Soo is published and shared with various government agencies and stakeholders..

2016:  OSSCO© launches a pilot project to Enhance Economic Opportunities for Unemployed Older Workers funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation.  The project helps people deal with the challenge of finding employment, making a career change or starting a business as well as deciding when to exit from the workplace.  

A Symposium called Reducing the Risk of Social Isolation and Loneliness: Celebrating Best Community Practices is videotaped and edited into 3 Seniors’ Conversations Worth Sharing: Home Alone: Reducing the Risk of Social Isolation and Loneliness. Some provincial training programs are offered in multiple languages i.e. French, Mandarin, Russian and Farsi.

2015: My Home, My Community: Safety Starts Here Conference is presented focusing on elder abuse awareness and prevention for people in a retirement home setting. The supporting educational brochure is developed with 2,000 copies distributed to retirement homes, libraries and seniors’ groups. An additional 3,000 brochures printed and distributed to assist seniors in finding information. The Roadmap for Information Decision Making a fact-finding report is published.

2014:  Shifting the Paradigm: Strategies for Positive Active Aging, is published with the results confirming that ageism exists. The report addresses 10 areas where clichés and stereotypes exist on getting older.  Strategies for a supportive and senior-sensitive society are included. An Elder Abuse Symposium is delivered in St. Catharines.

2013: OSSCO© launches the Tuesday Seniors’ program. Working with the Jamaican Canadian Association, OSSCO© organizes the Elder Abuse Symposium: The Universal Challenge to raise awareness on the topic. OSSCO© organizes an International Seniors Day event, a forum on Breaking Down the Barriers to Positive Active Aging.

2012: OSSCO© in partnership with Unifor Retirees Local 598 organizes and presents the Elder Abuse Symposium: The Universal Challenge in Sudbury.

2009-2010: OSSCO© partners with Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat (OSS) to host a series of multicultural health and wellness fairs.

2009: OSSCO© promotes the Age-Friendly Communities (AFC) model, publicized through 7 regional forums. This is a partnership with Ontario Seniors Secretariat(OSS) and OSS Liaison Committee members.

2005: Publication of OSSCO©’s 20th Anniversary Commemorative Book.

2003: OSSCO© organizes a Health & Homecare in the Multicultural Community Conference. Fourth Annual Summer Learning Series – The Media and You, planned and presented by OSSCO©, Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living and Ryerson’s Continuing Education Department.

2001: Second Summer Learning Series for Seniors, a 4-part educational forum presented by OSSCO©, Bernard Betel Centre for Creative Living and Ryerson’s Continuing Education Department. Organized forums on Long Term Care and Primary Health Care in response to the report: Long Term Care-In Limbo or Worse?

2000:  OSSCO© receives funding for a play “If Not Now…When?” about seniors facing the future in our society. This play was performed in 6 cities in Ontario.

1999:  OSSCO© hosts 2 half-day sessions at the Fourth Global Conference on Aging held in Montreal with participation by seniors’ groups from across Canada. International Year of Older Persons Conference – The ABCs of Aging held at Ryerson Polytechnic University with 375 participants from across Ontario.

1998: A Snapshot of Care giving in Ontario, a project that took a closer look at care giving in diverse urban, rural, francophone and ethnic communities is developed by OSSCO©.

1997: The Older, Wiser, Living Stronger project is completed.

1996: Training for the Future for the Unemployed Older Worker and Retirees’ project has 10 workshops and a manual to enhance the quality of life for older workers and retirees. OSSCO© organizes the Conference – Getting out of the Hospital – The Long Road Home.

1995: OSSCO© publishes and distributes Life Before Medicare: Canadian Experiences. OSSCO© organizes a forum on problems facing seniors of different ethno-cultural and racial minority communities called Diversity and Aging. OSSCO© celebrates its 10thAnniversary!

1994: OSSCO©’s Think Tank takes place. It also organizes the Home Alone: Who is Taking Care of our Elderly conference.

1993: OSSCO© organizes several workshops on housing and health care as well as a Leadership Development Forum for Senior Women.

1992: As part of “The Senior Citizens’ Consumer Alliance for Long Term Care”, OSSCO© holds 16 days of public hearings, 2 policy conferences, 7 mini-forums and issues a comprehensive report on the Ontario government’s proposals for redirected long term care. Final report to government and 6,000 organizations is presented.

1991: Citizen Participation in the Health Public Policy project.\

1987: OSSCO© receives charitable status.

1985: Seniors’ groups persuade the federal government to abandon its proposal to de-index the Old Age Security Pension. OCSSCO is founded as a result.