The Good Companions, a non-profit multi-service seniors’ centre, provides opportunities for men and women to participate in social, recreational, educational and volunteer activities and benefit from social and health services. Our mission is to promote and support the well-being, independence and zest for living of seniors in the greater Ottawa area through providing a congenial, stimulating, visible, accessible, safe and supportive centre, physical facilities and programs, and through providing services to seniors in their own homes.
The Centre’s main priorities are social integration, affordability and accessibility. To this end, we provide meals and refreshments as well as health services including wellness and social programs/services. Special programs and volunteer assistance are made available for frail or disabled seniors.
Community Support Services are provided to seniors and adults with physical disabilities living in Centretown and North-East Ottawa, with or without membership to The Good Companions. These services/members programs include information and referral, friendly visiting, home help, telephone assurance, grocery and shopping bus, home maintenance, transportation (escort) to essential services and snow removal. Community support clients number more than 800.
More than 75 percent of those who use The Good Companions services are women. Three out of four are single or widowed, living alone on limited incomes. The average age of active members is 75 years; of those receiving community support services – 78. The prevalence and severity of health problems increase with age; so does the need for services to support the ability of seniors to remain in their homes.
A 12-member Board of Directors representing all segments of the community, oversees operations. More than 400 volunteers assist 26 paid staff in delivering all programs and services.
The Corporation’s Operating Funds come in large part as grants from the United Way/Centraide Ottawa, The Ontario Ministry of Health Long Term Care Division, and the City of Ottawa and is supplemented by user fees and donations.
The Good Companions was founded in 1955 and has undergone two major expansions. It has provided services to more than 10,000 older adults in the community.
Demand for its programs and services is continually growing. It now provides more than 150,000 “units of service” to seniors each year.