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The Seniors and Caregivers Support Service (SCSS) Unit at Family Service Toronto provides social work services to older people and caregivers. Our work includes counselling, group work, advocacy, training and educational sessions on a variety of topics such as aging and memory loss, anger and guilt, how to access community resources, abuse of older adults, etc.

For up-to-date information on current workshops and groups, please visit the Workshops, Groups and Events page.

You can come to our office for counselling, attend support groups or educational seminars, talk to a trained counsellor by telephone or, in exceptional circumstances, arrange for a home/community visit. We are able to provide counselling in English and Spanish.

We provide counselling services for those facing issues such as:

  • Dealing with chronic or degenerative illness
  • Stress in family relationships
  • Bereavement
  • The uprootedness and difficulty of adapting to a new culture at an advanced age
  • Caregiver stress
  • Elder abuse

Counselling for Seniors

As an older adult you can count on us to help you get the support you need. We provide counselling services for a variety of issues such as:

  • Dealing with chronic or degenerative illness
  • Stress in family relationships
  • Bereavement
  • The uprootedness and difficulty of adapting to a new culture at an advanced age
  • Caregiver stress
  • Elder abuse

Counselling for Caregivers

As the caregiver of an aging parent, relative or friend, our trained counsellors will help you:

  • Deal with caregiver stress, anger and guilt
  • Learn important communication techniques
  • Develop strategies for coping with burnout
  • Understand family dynamics

Pat’s Place – A Safe Haven for Older People Experiencing Abuse

Pat’s Place is a temporary safe haven for older people experiencing abuse. At Pat’s Place we offer a welcoming environment where residents can take time out from their current situation.

At Pat’s Place we believe that all older people have the right to live a life free of harm. We are striving to create an environment where an older person can live with dignity and in peace.

Workshops & Groups

The Seniors and Caregivers Support Service Unit at Family Service Toronto offers training workshops for seniors’ groups, the general public and service providers on a variety of areas.

Workshops cost:

  • For seniors and the public – Free
  • For service providers – Fees are based on an hourly rate and will be negotiated to meet individual circumstances.

Breaking the Silence: Elder Abuse Consultation Team

To find out how to present a case to the team, please contact Lisa Manuel, EACT Coordinator, at 416-595-4049 or [email protected]

EACT meets once a month on Fridays, 1-3 p.m. All meetings are held on Zoom.

Fall/Winter 2023 meeting dates:

October 20, November 17, December 15.

2024 meeting dates:

January 19, February 23, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18, November 15, December 13.

Education Sessions

We also offer information and education sessions on a range of topics including:

  • The normal aging process
  • The caregiver role
  • Communication
  • Community services
  • Stress management for caregivers
  • Positive aspects of aging
  • Coping with change and loss
  • Healthy caregiving
  • Anger and Guilt
  • Aging and memory loss
  • Pre-retirement planning
  • Family dynamics
  • Challenging behaviours
  • The Sandwich Generation
  • Humour and joy in caregiving
  • Dealing with chronic illness
  • Long-range planning
  • Making the “system” work for you
  • Elder abuse
  • Spirituality in caregiving
  • Long distance caregiving
  • Talking with your doctor

For other questions regarding counselling in general, please check Programs and Services/FAQ

For questions regarding Pat’s Place, please go to Pat’s Place page

What is the cost for services?

Services are free for seniors and their caregivers

For service providers, fees are based on an hourly rate and will be negotiated to meet individual circumstances.

Who is eligible for Pat’s Place?

People 60 years of age and older who are being abused emotionally, physically, sexually, financially or in other ways by a family member can use Pat’s Place. Pat’s Place is open to women, men and transgendered persons.

People who move to Pat’s Place must be able to care for themselves. If a person requires some supports we will work with them to determine if we can put them in place. If the person can function independently when support services are not present, they will be considered for entry to the program.

Is Pat’s Place a shelter?

No, it is important to realize that Pat’s Place is not a shelter. It is an apartment in a secure location in Toronto.  It is not staffed like a shelter (i.e. staff on site 24/7).

For more information about the types of workshops we are currently running, or to sign up, please call 416-595-9618. If you want to sign up for a workshop or group that has already started and registration is closed, you may be put on the waiting list for the next series.

Please note that FST is offering services virtually and by phone, as offices remain closed to the public. The full list of FST workshops and groups offered at this time is available on the Virtual Workshops and Groups page.

Dates and times for workshops and groups might be different than listed below. Please contact FST’s Service Access Unit for more information.

Need a Boost

Join our discussion group for women 60+. Learn to restore your self-confidence and build support in your life.

  • Increase your social network
  • Practice communication skills
  • Rediscover interests and abilities
  • Share memories

Date:  Second and fourth Monday afternoon each month
Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Location : Zoom
Facilitator: Zenia Castanos
Pre-registration required, please call Service Access Unit at  416-595-9618.
No-Fee. Donations welcome.

Failure to Launch

A virtual group for parents 55+ of adult children who have been unable to secure their independence due to:

  • Chronic Illness
  • Mental Health
  • Addictions

Come out and meet other parents who are dealing with similar issues. Learn how to protect yourself against abuse while supporting your adult child in gaining independence.

  • Understand your role in continuing the cycle of dependence
  • Learn how to set limits and boundaries
  • Become aware of the impact of guilt and shame
  • Learn to cope with loss and change and moving forward

Date: Fourth Thursday each month
Time: 1:30 – 3 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Facilitator: Brenda Anderson
Registration: To participate please call 416-595-9618.

Gaining Strength, Sharing Stories

A virtual group for women 60+
Sharing our stories, we discover we are not alone.

  • Tell your story in a safe and supportive environment
  • Ease isolation by connecting with others
  • Learn strategies for emotional safety and self-care
  • Focus on creating and maintaining healthy relationships.

When: Second Wednesday each month;
Time: 1:30 – 3:00p.m.
Location: Zoom
Pre-Registration required. Please call Family Service Toronto’s Service Access Unit at 416-595-9618.

Groups for the Latino-Hispanic Community

FST Seniors and Caregivers and Senior Community Connections programs offer monthly groups for the Latino Hispanic Community. To learn more about the program go to Seniors Community Connections – Family Service Toronto or to see current groups go to Workshops and Groups – Community Connections Program

Access care for older adults

CNAP: The Community Navigation and Access Program (CNAP) is a network over 30 community support service (CSS) agencies in the Toronto area who are collaborating to improve access and coordination of support services for older adults, their care providers and health care stakeholders.

CCAC: There are a number of Community Care Access Centres throughout the Toronto area that offer everything from in-home health and social services to information about placement into long-term care facilities. Services are often provided in a variety of languages.

Information about Other Community Services

211 Toronto: For information about other community services in the Toronto Area you can call the Community Information Toronto Helpline – (416 or 905 area) dial 211.
Or, for other areas: 416-397-4636

Organizations that Deal with Specific Types of Illnesses

The Canadian Mental Health Association: The Toronto Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association offers a range of community support services for persons with serious mental health problems, as well as education and mental health promotion to the general community.

Mood Disorder Association of Ontario: is a self-help association for persons with depression, manic depression, dual disabilities and their families and friends.

Alzheimer Society of Toronto
2323 Yonge Street, Suite 500
Toronto, Ontario, M4P 2C9
Tel: 416-322-6560
[email protected]

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
1920 Yonge Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M4S 3E2
Tel: 416-489-7111; Healthline: 1-888-HSF-INFO
[email protected]

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
250 Bloor Street East, Suite 1000
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3P9
Tel: 416-922-6065; 1-800-268-7582
[email protected]

Parkinson Society of Canada
4211 Yonge Street, Suite 316
Toronto, Ontario, M2P 2A9
Tel: 416-727-9700; 1-800-565-3000
[email protected]

Public pensions: Information on the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security pension and related benefits, the Canadian retirement income calculator and retirement planning.

Ministry of the Attorney General website: Power of Attorney Kit and Living Wills

Information for Caregivers

Toronto Public Library: Local libraries, throughout the Toronto area, have an extensive number of books and videos on caregiving. For more information, call or visit your local library.

Attend Caregiver Seminars and Workshops: There are a number of caregiver information workshops that take place throughout the city on a regular basis. For more information about the one closest to you call your local Community Information Centre or Neighbourhood Information Post. Numbers are usually listed in the front of your phone book. For workshops in the Toronto area call Community Information Toronto at 416-397-4636. Workshops for seniors and caregivers are also often listed in local community newspapers.

Videos, Videos and More Videos

In addition to going to your local library for videos on caregiving, you might also try the National Film Board. They can be reached by calling 416-973-3012 or you can visit their website at You can also check out The Caregiver Network Inc. This organization is an excellent resource for caregivers. They also have a video series called The Aging and Caregiving Video Series. For more information, or to contact them please call 1-800-757-4868.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has a number of videos on caregiving. For more information or to contact them, please call 1-800-616-8816 (valid only in Canada) or visit their website at

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15, 2006 was the debut of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). It is celebrated each year on this day. The day is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action which recognizes the significance of abuse and neglect of older adults as a public health and human rights issue. Throughout the world, senior abuse and neglect is largely under-recognized or treated as an unspoken problem.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, communities and governments around the world to recognize the reality of abuse and neglect of older adults. Canadians have been a big part of this effort.

For more information, read the following fact sheets for more information on elder abuse:

Programs and Services

Programmes en Français
Appointments and Frequently Asked Questions
Campaign 2000
Caring for Caregivers
Families in Transition
Growing Up Healthy Downtown
Healthy Families. Healthy Communities
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Options – Adults
Options – Children
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Transitional and Housing Support
Violence Against Women
Single Session Walk-In Counselling