Reducing Social Isolation of LGBTQ2S+ Seniors through the
Pals Connect Program at The 519


Wednesday October 17th, 2018            11:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST

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Where: GoToWebinar

Cost: Complimentary


Rochella Vassell
Elder Abuse Ontario
416-916-6728 Ext 225   






Isolation is a growing issue that is strongly linked to the decline of health and wellbeing in older age. Studies have shown that isolation increases vulnerability to abuse and that abuse can also lead to increased isolation. This is why efforts to identify isolation and improve social support are an important part of preventing elder abuse. 

It is estimated that there are over 210,000 LGBTQ2S+ seniors in Ontario, many of whom are experiencing isolation. Since 2018, with support from the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program, The 519 developed the Pals Connect Friendly Visiting Program to reduce social isolation amongst LGBTQ2S+ seniors residing in the GTA. They began this work by forming community partnerships, training a core group of intergenerational volunteers and by conducting rigorous background checks to ensure safe and supported matches.

This webinar will offer insights about the successes of the Pals Connect Program in connecting isolated seniors, and examples of the relationship between isolation and abuse.




    Mx Kate Hazell
    Personal Pronouns: She/Her/Hers                                                          Specialist of Education and Training / Coordinator of LGBTQ2S Seniors Programs                                                                                                           The 519                                                                                           

As Specialist of Education and Training, and LGBTQ2S Seniors Programs Coordinator at The 519, Kate draws on her background in Therapeutic Recreation and Gerontology to foster the affirmation and resilience of older LGBTQ2S communities in care environments across Toronto and beyond. She is deeply committed to promoting intergenerational connectivity and spaces where people are supported in sharing lived experience. 

Learning Objectives:

The webinar will focus on the unique challenges faced by older members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S) communities who are experiencing care needs, and open discussions about how to foster more affirmative social networks that reduce social isolation.

  • Identify and discuss common words to express sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Canada.
  • Propose ways to make your agency and its services safe and inclusive for older LGBTQ2S adults.
  • Identify and discuss reasons an older LGBTQ2S person may be distrustful of the health or social care systems or be reluctant to seek the care they need.
  • Explore how The 519’s Pals Connect Program is addressing social isolation amongst LGBTQ2S seniors and promoting intergenerational connection.