Adapting Through Change: Helping Seniors Live Well


Photo © George Arthur Pflueger

Live well at home with Nucleus Independent Living

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how essential it is to be connected with others, especially as we age. Maintaining social interactions is crucial for our health and wellbeing and helps to combat the impacts of loneliness.

“Those who were socially isolated, experiencing poorer health and of lower socioeconomic status [are] more likely to have worsening depression as compared to their pre-pandemic depression status collected as part of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging since 2011,” says coauthor Parminder Raina, a professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact and scientific director of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging.

Soon after the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, Nucleus Independent Living, a community-based, not for profit health organization that provides personal care support to seniors and adults with physical disabilities, partnered with CompanionLink, a volunteer-based organisation focused on combating loneliness, to establish a Virtual Companion Call (VCC) program to help address isolation in the communities most vulnerable seniors.

The program creates social connections between Nucleus’ clients and CompanionLink’s trained volunteers through phone or video calls every week. Matches are often based on common interests and languages spoken.

“This program makes me feel so good. I am very thankful and very excited to be a part of it. It helps me have contact with other people and being connected with younger people helps me understand what is going on in the world in a different way.” —Nucleus Companion Call Client

By March 31, 2022, 52 clients and 50 volunteers were participating in weekly connections, dramatically increasing the hours of engagement that clients received and providing them with newfound support. The program data suggests that clients felt their participation reduced their feelings of loneliness. All clients surveyed expressed that they felt very satisfied with the program and that their companion has become an important part of their life.

The program continues to accept referrals. For more information, visit

nucleus independent living
Photo © Courtesy of Nucleus Independent Living

About Nucleus Independent Living

Nucleus Independent Living is a community support service agency in the Mississauga Halton region. Within all of their programs, Nucleus operates under the philosophy that, with appropriate support, seniors and adults with disabilities can continue to live their lives and be part of their communities. There’s no place like home, after all, and Nucleus champions independent living by helping seniors live well, both at home and within their communities, while incorporating each person’s preferences and choices.

Their Attendant Care Services, including non-medical physical assistance with day-to-day activities, bathing, feeding, medication assistance, and more, provide care and relief to seniors and adults with physical disabilities. Their focus is on maintaining autonomy, providing assistance and support where needed to help clients and families adapt to their care needs and help them feel empowered to contribute to their own wellbeing.

With the help of Nucleus Independent Living, nearly 3,000 seniors have avoided placement in long-term care by accessing 24/7 access to non-medical support at home.

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We champion independent living by helping you live well at home and within your communities.  We partner with you while delivering safe, quality care that incorporates your preferences and choice.   


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