Maintaining Independence in Older Age


Photo © Courtesy of ESS Support Services

Helping You Where You Need It Most

Whether you need some assistance with independent living to remain comfortably in your own home, or you’re a caregiver who could use extra support, we’re here to help.

Throughout the pandemic, many families worried about how their parents and grandparents, being seniors, would fare living on their own and how the isolating nature of health and safety protocols would impact them. Even before the virus spread, maintaining independence in older age was a concern among many adults and families.

As Toronto’s population ages, this will continue to be a topic of consideration, leading to some critical questions: How can we support older adults in leading and maintaining active, independent, and healthy lives in their neighbourhoods, communities, and homes?

ESS, an Etobicoke-based not-for-profit community support agency, accredited with exemplary standing by Accreditation Canada, was created in 1983 to help older adults maintain independence in their homes and stay active and connected in their community. As of 2018, Etobicoke had the highest percentage of seniors in the city, at 16.1 per cent. The 2018 census also shared that many of those seniors were over the age of 75 and were living alone.

ESS is committed to supporting seniors in their desire to keep the things they need and want in their lives, like remaining in their own homes and communities. With community programs offered in-person and virtually, in-home services, and compassionate care focused on the needs of older adults and their family members, ESS makes it possible for older adults to continue doing so. At the same time, these programs are a welcome respite for families and caregivers who could use extra support, allowing them to take needed breaks to rest and recharge while having peace of mind that their family members are safe and supported.

ess support services
Photo © Courtesy of ESS Support Services
Photo © Courtesy of ESS Support Services

The community programs and in-home services offered by ESS support independence, social connection, wellness, food security, and caregiver respite, but the impact of these programs doesn’t stop there.

Grocery and food hamper delivery services help older community members access affordable food; social, recreational, and wellness group programs, including exercise classes for all levels and abilities, provide new and exciting ways to stay active; and safe and affordable transportation is provided to and from medical and non-emergency hospital appointments, community programs, grocery trips, and
social outings.

As well, ESS provides services for older adults who need more extensive support, including engaging adult day programs; secure and comfortable overnight respite accommodation and care for older adults who have memory impairments, chronic illnesses, or physical disabilities; and in-home support for personal care, homemaking, and meal preparation.

Caregivers have access to the Caregiver Support Group, where they can comfortably share experiences and learn tips about caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s or other memory impairments. Educational resources, supports and networking opportunities are available for those caring for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Volunteers and donors who support the work of ESS are essential in helping provide needed community support services and programs for older adults and their caregivers. Funders and donors have helped ESS build upon existing programs and introduce new services to meet community needs, such as food delivery programs and opening a new overnight respite and adult day program facility. There are many ways to get involved, from volunteer help in the ESS mobile food bank, grocery delivery services, and adult day program, to donations that make a difference.

Learn more at

“My parents have remained safe and thriving in this new world. ESS has enabled my parents, and our family, to re-imagine their lives in the safety of their own home. They have activities to look forward to and they are both proud of their accomplishments.” —Caregiver

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ESS Support Services is an award-winning not-for-profit community support agency that has been supporting older adults, seniors, older adults with disabilities, families and caregivers in the Etobicoke community, and beyond, since 1983.


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