Group of seniors exercising
Thanks to the support of The Slaight Family Foundation, UHN will find innovative ways to support the quality of life among seniors and reduce emergency room visits. (Photo: iStock)

The Silver Tsunami will see an unprecedented number of seniors in Canada, which is also true throughout North America. Thanks to a $3-million investment from The Slaight Family Foundation, UHN is one step closer to being able to design programs and supports to enable seniors to live and thrive in their communities.

As part of a larger $30-million gift through The Slaight Family Foundation Seniors Initiative, UHN will leverage community partnerships, technology, and our influence as Canada's largest academic hospital, to deliver new and enhanced care for seniors outside of the hospital that promotes quality of life among seniors and reduces emergency room visits.

"Our goal is to put the needs first of those we are privileged to serve," says Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of UHN. "With this gift, we will be able to design a care journey for seniors that is fortified by transitions that are seamless, high-quality, and safe – and ensure that research and education are included as integral parts of this work."

The gifts to UHN's three foundations – Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and Toronto Rehab Foundation – will direct funds to specialized programs that will expand the impact on seniors' health by:

  • Launching a Geriatric Community Integration Hub (GERI Hub) to be designed and run by Toronto Rehab in partnership with Sinai Health System and Circle of Care. The GERI Hub will become a single point of access to services for patients, as they navigate their post-hospital journey to their community; introduce innovative, tele-rehab models to allow seniors to rehabilitate in the comfort of their own homes; and offer a Geriatric Fellowship that will empower emerging leaders to inspire, invent, and deliver tomorrow's care.
  • Transforming Toronto's high-rise apartment buildings with high concentrations of seniors into Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs). Through UHN's OpenLab initiative, select buildings will serve as living laboratories to develop, pilot and test ways to provide health services and other support for seniors – right in their own buildings.
  • Expanding programming at the one-of-a-kind Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, to serve more seniors with dementia through the power of art, education and movement.
  • Filling gaps in care for older adults with cancer. The Geriatric Oncology Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will create education and training opportunities for patients, families, and care teams, in the complexities of older adult cancer care; conduct research to improve patient outcomes and experience; and expand the clinic to accommodate more patients.

The responsibility to provide innovative solutions for seniors is one that UHN takes seriously, as we look inside the hospital and beyond, to inspire, invent, and deliver tomorrow's care. But we recognize that we can't do it alone.

"We're grateful to The Slaight Family for demonstrating the important role that philanthropy plays in advancing our healthcare system," says Dr. Smith.

"Together with our partners, we share a commitment to finding solutions to support seniors, build capacity in the community, and accelerate our vision of A Healthier World."

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