Seniors Sing Beyond Loneliness in Toronto Community Centre

Community Health Centres play a large part in the lives of seniors. Retired, but not quite ready for the retirement home, like Active Lifestyle or Assisted Living, they remain at home and need opportunities to get out of lives of isolation. What to do?

The Rexdale Community Health Centre in Toronto, Canada, has the answer: Sing! Virgil Scott is the conductor of a 50 seniors' choir that responds with healthy singing, the shaking tambourines and beating drums. "I can't imagine my life without this," Hyacinth Hamilton told

The seniors program is coordinated by Wendy Caceres-Speakman who told the media source: "We're in a community where many seniors are new Canadians or have been living in Canada for many years but because of barriers they can't access services so they become isolated." Caceres-Speakman also quotes money as a major problem for senior in the area, many getting by on less than $9,000 per year. Mobility, health, and language can also be barriers.

The program addresses many concerns by providing transportation expenses, translators, exercise classes, and a variety of multicultural needs.

"Where I see our uniqueness is that a lot of programming is very much culturally segregated programming - a lot of people seem to be programming for specific ethnic groups. We're breaking down those cultured silos," said Caceres-Speakman.