Age-friendly Peterborough is a connector to information and ways you can be involved in your community.

  • Get Involved highlights the benefits of volunteering and provides available opportunities.
  • Stay Informed lists different tools to access local information and resources.

Get Involved

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community. Learn about the benefits of volunteering and the different resources available to help you find your perfect volunteer role.

Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering is a rewarding way to share your skills and to enrich your life. Volunteers perform at their best when they feel valued, connected, and needed. Magic occurs when people discover:

  • A cause that matches their values and feels meaningful,
  • A role that engages their skills, yet allows them to learn more, and
  • A schedule that offers the number of hours they wish to contribute.

Volunteering increases life satisfaction, happiness, and connection to the community. Watch the video on the right to learn more about the benefits of volunteering.

Volunteer PeterboroughLogo for Volunteer Peterborough

Volunteer Peterborough is a network of volunteers and nonprofit organizations working together to solve urgent problems through promoting volunteerism. The website is a matching portal where the community can find volunteer opportunities that meet their skills, interests and time commitment, and where agencies can recruit volunteers. Search by current opportunities or organization or create a volunteer profile.

 Join the movement and make an impact in the community!

Visit Volunteer Peterborough

Volunteer with Age-friendly Peterborough

Age-friendly Peterborough (AFP) is working to ensure that older adults’ basic needs are met; that they can get around the community; are supported to build and maintain relationships; and have the opportunity, to learn, grow, and contribute.

Watch the video on the right to learn about the volunteer opportunities with Age-friendly Peterborough. 

Below are some current volunteer opportunities with Age-friendly Peterborough. If you are interested in volunteering with AFP, please fill out the online form below.

Current Volunteer Opportunities with Age-friendly Peterborough

Event Volunteer

Project

Volunteer for a single day event that supports AFP projects, for example the Seniors Showcase or the Summit on Aging.

Role

  • Volunteer responsibilities will vary by event and may include registration, refreshments, and interacting with the participants.
  • The role assigned will be based on the event need, and the individual’s availability, skills and interest.
  • Be an ambassador for AFP while at the event.
  • The volunteer will work with members of the Event Planning team and will report to the designated lead.

Time Commitment

  • Attend on the day of the event.
  • Shifts are less than 4 hours.

Responsibilities

  • Task will vary depending on the role assigned.

Requirements & Qualifications

  • Excellent people skills.
  • Available to attend the event.
Senior Centre Without Walls (SCWW) Moderator

Project

Using multi-person phone calls, SCWW provides the opportunity for participants to enjoy health and wellness activities, educational lectures, brain-stimulating activities, and general conversation. All activities encourage participants to make new and meaningful friendships--all from the comfort of home.

Role

  • The moderator supports the older adult participants using the telephone conferencing system
  • Works with SCWW Task Force  

Time Commitment

  • Attend moderator training
  • Activity sessions are typically ½ hour in length
  • Flexible time commitment of 3 hours per month

Responsibilities

  • Phone registrants in advance to confirm attendance
  • Accept incoming calls from the participants
  • Monitor the teleconference call and assist facilitator or participants when necessary
  • Control audio functions with the call
  • Disconnect the participants and facilitator to end the activity
  • Report attendance numbers

Requirements & Qualifications

  • Intermediate computer skills
  • Access to a computer with reliable internet connection
  • Excellent people skills
  • Punctual and reliable

AFP Volunteer Task Force Member

Committee

Reporting to the Learning and Contributing Working Group, the Volunteer Task Force has an objective to:

  • Promote volunteering for older adults as a way to stay connected and engaged in the community and support overall well-being; and
  • Support volunteer engagement with AFP.

Role

  • Work with the Task Force to achieve the established goals, strategies and actions as outlined in the AFP Community Action Plan.

Benefits

  • Be an active member of a committee that is working together to promote the benefits of volunteerism in the community.
  • To ensure there are adequate human resources to carry out the mandate of Age-friendly Peterborough.

Time Commitment

  • Attend daytime meetings once a month for 1 hour.
  • Independent work throughout the month.
  • Flexible time commitment of 2 hours per month.

Responsibilities

  • Attend and participate at monthly meetings.
  • Work on action items throughout the month as discussed during meetings.
  • Promote volunteerism.
  • Create tools and resources to recruit, and onboard of new AFP volunteers.
  • Interview, match, and onboard new AFP volunteers. 

Requirements & Qualifications

  • Access to computer to attend virtual meetings.
  • Familiar with volunteer programs and volunteer processes.

For more information about a volunteer position, please contact afpadmin@peterborough.ca. Subscribe to this page for updates about new opportunities.

Age-friendly Peterborough Volunteer Application Form

Virtual Volunteer Fair

Volunteering is a great way to stay involved in your community. The Age-friendly Peterborough Volunteer Hub led by Community Care is excited to announce the launch of the Virtual Volunteer Fair. Learn more about local organizations throughout the greater Peterborough Area and how you can get involved.

If you are an organization who would like to participate in the virtual volunteer fair, contact afpadmin@peterborough.ca.

Watch the videos below by clicking on the organizations you want to learn more about.

Volunteer Hub

The Volunteer Hub connects older adults to volunteer opportunities in the city, county, and first nations. The Volunteer Coordinator also connects younger community members with opportunities to volunteer with agencies that support older adults. Thank you to Community Care, who is managing the hub. To find your ideal volunteering role, call 705-742-7067, email volunteerhub@commcareptbo.org.

Stay Informed

There is information out there that may be hard to find. Age-friendly Peterborough has tools to help you find local resources and services that support healthy aging.

Friends of Age-friendly Peterborough Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on information about programs, resources, and services available to older adults and their caregivers in the greater Peterborough area.

Subscribe to the Friends of Age-friendly Peterborough newsletter

Information is Just a Click or Call Away

The Peterborough Senior's Services Directory is a centralized directory of healthy aging services that can support seniors to live at home in the City and County of Peterborough and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations. The directory is intended to be a tool used by older adults, their families, care givers, and care providers.

2-1-1 is a free, confidential, multilingual, information and referral helpline. 211 Community Navigators help people find basic needs such as food, housing, and emergency financial assistance, and other support and community services. 

8-1-1 is the number to call for non-urgent health services, also known as Health Connect Ontario. It is available 24/7, is free, secure, and confidential. You can access symptom-based health information, navigation to programs and services, where doctors are accepting new patients, and referrals to clinical services including dietitian services or smoking cessation.

Forever Young Articles in Peterborough This Week

Age-friendly Peterborough posts monthly articles in Peterborough This Week's "Forever Young" column. The articles provide information on topics to promote healthy aging, and to bring awareness to seniors' issues and potential solutions.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - August 2023

The National Institute on Ageing defined “Ageing in the Right Place as the process of enabling healthy ageing in the most appropriate setting based on an older person’s personal preferences, circumstances and care needs.” It is the right place for you.

Research has consistently shown that older adults wish to remain in their current housing as long as possible. However, with the cost of living on the rise, declining health or safety concerns, and the impact of social isolation, living in your current state may not support your healthy aging. The good news is there are many options to help you stay in your current housing and many places to go. Whether you need a change now or in the future, it is good to know what is available and look for the signs that you are ready for that change.

Should I Stay?

If you would like to stay in your current home, but you are finding it financially difficult or you are unable to manage the home maintenance yourself, home share may be a solution. Senior Women Living Together, LifeShare, SpacesShared, and Places4Students are four examples of organizations that help you find a compatible housemate.

Perhaps you have health concerns that limit what you can do in your home or you are no longer connected in the community. There are many not-for-profit and businesses that provide a variety of services such as housekeeping, meal and grocery delivery, driving to appointments, friendly visits, personal care, and home help. The Community Paramedicine Program will help those experiencing health issues stay healthy at home and avoid trips to the doctor, emergency room, or a move into a long-term care home.

Should I Go?

Your current financial and health status are also factors in deciding when it is time to relocate. Moving to a place where you maintain your independence, yet support is close by may be a good option. Perhaps a secondary suite in the home of a family member, or in a place close to others, such as an apartment or retirement residence. Abbeyfield Lakefield is designed with exactly that in mind. A place where older adults can thrive in a small community, providing as much social interaction as you would like.

If you are struggling with the cost or size of your home, and would like to move somewhere cheaper or smaller, you may qualify for rent-geared-to-income housing. Peterborough Housing Corp. and the Housing Resource Centre through CCRC can help you find a rental that meets your needs.


Meet the Experts 

As Age-friendly Coordinator, should I stay or should I go, is the most frequent question I am asked. Therefore, on September 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., we are hosting a session with the Peterborough Public Library as part of our Living and Aging Well workshop series. 

The Should I Stay or Should I Go workshop will provide more details about the options available and an opportunity to chat with the presenters. To register online see the Peterborough Library event calendar or call 705-745-5382 ext. 2340.

Retirement, now what? - July 2023

You wake up and realize the alarm didn’t ring. Feeling the sense of panic, you jump out of bed. Then you remember that you don’t have to rush to work because you are retired. A sense of calm washes over you as you make your tea, head back to bed, and get cozy with a book. You putter in the afternoon and clean out the closet you have always meant to declutter. This is the vacation stage of retirement; it is similar to the honeymoon phase of marriage.

Soon all the closets are clean, and you find yourself looking for something to do. You are missing work, the schedule, and coffee breaks with your coworkers. You enter an uncomfortable stage, where you notice you have lost your identity associated with your work life. This may cause anxiety or depression. Some people stay in this phase and that can lead to declining health and relationships. Did you know the number of couples over the age 65 seeking a divorce has been substantially increasing.

It may take some effort to explore what you like to do and how to connect with the community in a different way. Think about what you liked to do before and give that a try. Did you like to ride a bike, or make models, or do crafts? You probably stopped doing it because you didn’t have time. You have time now. You can even make some money doing your hobbies. Refinish furniture or knit sweaters and sell on Marketplace. Join a senior activity centre, fitness centre, or club to be with people who share the same interests. Sometimes you may slip back into stage two but aim to spend time finding activities that you like to do.

In school, you may have learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where at the top of the pyramid, was self-actualization. It is not associated with age but is a state of personal fulfilment. Being retired provides the time to reflect, experience and contribute. You can facilitate the realization of your true potential. People may choose to volunteer in their community to contribute service to others. Think of influential people in your life and how they impacted you. Now think about how you can make a difference in someone else’s life.

Retirement planning is beyond dollars and cents and involves a plan for your time. Loneliness has been found to have a serious impact on older people's physical and mental health. Here are some tips for a successful retirement:

  • Have many people to do things with. Try not to be dependent on one person.
  • Plan a balanced day/week with elements of physical, social, and out of the house tasks or activities.
  • Feel free to say no. Once you retire there may be an expectation that you are available. Only agree to what you want to do.
  • Plan for a long life. Currently life expectancy is 83 years, but in 1950 it was 68. Currently we are living longer, but the latter years may not be in good health.
Retirement is a transition, an on-going process of choices and decisions. Choose to live your best life possible.

June is a Month for Celebration - June 2023

June is known for the Summer Solstice, when on June 21, we celebrate the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. June is also the month that we recognize, celebrate, and bring awareness to the diversity and needs of our community.

June is Seniors Month in Ontario – a time to honour and celebrate the contributions and hard work that Ontario's older adults have done all their lives to make Ontario the great place it is today. This year’s theme, Working for Seniors is about the programs and services helping seniors stay independent, fit, active, and healthy. We recognize when seniors have more opportunities to be social and together, they have a happier and better quality of life. (Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility)

Peterborough Older Adult Demographics

From 2016 to 2021, the proportion of older adults 65 and over has increased in the greater Peterborough area. In 2016, Trent Lakes had the highest proportion of older adults at 30.2% however in 2021, North Kawartha reported 35.4% of their population being over age 65. Hiawatha First Nation saw the highest increase in the proportion of seniors in their population over the past five years, moving from 20.7% in 2016 to 27.7% in 2021. All communities in the greater Peterborough area have a significantly higher number of older adults than the provincial average of 19%.

In 2021, people older than 65 represented 25.2% of the greater Peterborough area population, an increase from 22.8% in 2016. There were 65 centenarian residents reported. For the age groups of 95 and older, older adult women outnumber men 3 to 1.

The number of older adults living in the greater Peterborough area will continue to increase.

People who are part of the Baby Boomer generation were born between 1946 and 1964, therefore in 2023 they are between the ages of 59 and 77. Many have not retired yet or require support services.

Many Baby Boomers purchased a cottage in the greater Peterborough area with the intention of using it as their retirement residence. As they retire and move to the cottage, they will add to the older adult population growth in the region.

According to Macrotrends, the average lifespan of a person living in Canada in 1950 was 68 years. In 2023, average lifespan has increased to age 83. It is projected that by 2100, we will live to 92. The World Health Organization states that even though we are living longer, we are living the latter years in poor health.

What does that mean?

As a community, we need to recognize the 2023 Seniors Month theme, “Working for Seniors” not just in June but as a way of life. We need to focus on the programs and services that help seniors stay independent, fit, active, and healthy. Age-friendly Peterborough is a collaboration of senior service providers and older adults who are passionate about building an age-friendly community and together we create action for aging well. However, we all have a role to play. Consider how can you make a difference. Do you have an older neighbour that you can offer to help? Can you spare an hour a week to be a volunteer driver with Cancer Society or Community Care so a senior can go to a doctor appointment or social activity? Is there a family member that would enjoy getting a phone call or visit from you?

In celebration of Seniors Month, the Chamber of Commerce Peterborough and Age-friendly Peterborough are hosting the Seniors Showcase at the Sport and Wellness Centre on June 21 from 9-4:00. The Showcase provides an opportunity to chat with the +100 exhibitors and attend workshops on topics related to aging. For more information visit the Chamber website at www.pkchamber.ca

Spring Cleaning Your Space and Mind - May 2023

Now that we can open the windows, let’s think about spring in a way that is good for the environment and good for the soul. I love the smell of spring and the lilac, magnolia, and cherry blossoms. Not to mention the smell of fresh laundry on the line and a clean house. It is the start to the gardening season and renewal of life.

On good days, plan to be outside. Mowing, raking, and gardening are ways to be physically and socially active. We tend to see our neighbours more when we are outside. It creates an opportunity to chat with people we haven’t seen in awhile.

Community clean-up. Garbage that has been covered in snow is unexposed in the spring. Organize a neighbourhood clean-up day. Even better, follow it with a BBQ.

Notice who needs help. Think about your older neighbours or people who could use some help. Perhaps the youth in the community can offer their services. If you need help, accept it. Building community is reciprocal. When we offer and accept help, we are more apt to feel valued and a sense of belonging.

Start a walking group. People are more motivated to be active if they are committed to others. Plus, a ‘walk and talk’ is more fun than walking by yourself. Encourage neighbours to join you along the way.

Organize inside on rainy days. Be prepared with a list of what needs to be organized, have the supplies you need beforehand, and commit to one task.

A cluttered house, a cluttered mind. When your home is overflowing, it can be hard to focus. Studies have shown clutter increases stress. Decluttering can be easy. Consider what you don’t need. If you require assistance, there are services that can do it, with or for you. You may feel better getting rid of an item if you know it will be useful to someone else. Consider donating:

  • gently used towels, sheets, or blankets to a local animal rescue organization
  • toiletries, sleeping bags, clothes, or winter accessories to a shelter
  • unexpired packaged food, hygiene products, or bags to a food bank

Cleaning your mind. Think of your brain like a desk. When your desk is stacked with random papers it is difficult to find what you are looking for. Similarly, when you have troubling thoughts piled in your brain, you are focusing on the negative and may be feeling overwhelmed. Practice being in the moment and not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Breath. Experience gratitude.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The earth laughs in flowers.” Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Volunteer to Stay Connected and Healthier - April 2023

With the highest rate of retirement in decades, we have a large pool of talented people with more free time on their hands than ever before. So, what do you do with all those extra hours?

Volunteering with the right organization for you, is the most rewarding way to share your skills and to enrich your life. Discover the benefits of contributing to your community as we celebrate National Volunteer Week from April 16 to 23.

Volunteers perform at their best when they feel valued, connected, and needed. Magic occurs when people discover:

  • A cause that matches their values and feels meaningful,
  • A role that engages their skills, yet allows them to learn more, and
  • A schedule that offers the number of hours they wish to contribute.

Volunteering increases life satisfaction, happiness, and connection to the community. It also offers these benefits:

Increased social networks – Volunteers meet people with similar interests. In other words, you’ll make new friends!

The acquisition of skills – Whether you join a hands-on crew or a board of directors, you’ll learn new approaches or technology that will be helpful in other aspects of your life. You can also gain more understanding of what makes things happen in your community – and empower you to change them.

Community capacity –You make the place you live better. Volunteers expand what agencies can do in terms of programming, services, and leadership. Every volunteer hour is estimated to add $29 to a charity so giving your time truly is valuable.

Richer life satisfaction – People who are connected to others feel better about themselves and the world around them. Seeing the impact of your work boosts your confidence and self-esteem.

More resilient mental health – When you have somewhere to go and something to do, your mind has less time to worry or sink into depression, causing isolation. The camaraderie of volunteering gives you a sense of belonging that makes is easier to cope on your bad days.

More robust physical health – Volunteers experience lower levels of stress and related health risks, such as heart disease and hypertension.

Become involved in the community and find a volunteer role that meets your interests, skills, and time. Contact the Volunteer Hub:

If you are currently volunteering, thank you. You are making a difference. Perhaps you can share your experience with others.

Ageism - March 2023

What is ageism?

Ageism refers to the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age.

Who does ageism affect?

Ageism affects everyone. Children as young as 4 years old become aware of their culture’s age stereotypes. From that age onwards they internalize and use these stereotypes to guide their feelings and behaviour towards people of different ages. They also draw on culture’s age stereotypes to perceive and understand themselves, which can result in self-directed ageism at any age. Ageism intersects and exacerbates other forms of disadvantage including those related to sex, race and disability.

Where is ageism seen?

Ageism is everywhere: from our institutions and relationships to ourselves. For example, ageism is in policies that support healthcare rationing by age, practices that limit younger people’s opportunities to contribute to decision-making in the workplace, patronizing behaviour used in interactions with older and younger people, and in self-limiting behaviour, which can stem from internalized stereotypes about what a person of a given age can be or do.

Is ageism a problem?

Ageism can change how we view ourselves, can erode solidarity between generations, can devalue or limit our ability to benefit from what younger and older populations can contribute, and can impact our health, longevity and well-being while also having far-reaching economic consequences. For example, ageism is associated with earlier death (by 7.5 years), poorer physical and mental health, and slower recovery from disability in older age. Ageism also increases risky health behaviours, such as eating an unhealthy diet, drinking excessively or smoking, and reduces our quality of life.

How can we combat ageism?

Three strategies work in reducing or eliminating ageism: policy and law, educational activities and intergenerational interventions.

Policy and law can address discrimination and inequality on the basis of age and protect the human rights of everyone, everywhere. Educational activities can enhance empathy, dispel misconceptions about different age groups and reduce prejudice by providing accurate information and counter-stereotypical examples. Intergenerational interventions, which bring together people of different generations, can help reduce intergroup prejudice and stereotypes.

Source: Ageism: World Health Organization

For more information, the Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario website has many resources https://eapon.ca/?s=ageism

Beat the Winter Blues - February 2023

We are living longer lives, but we are now spending more years in poor health. The golden years may be losing its luster when you are experiencing medical conditions, taking medication that are affecting your mood, and you are frustrated by physical challenges. Plus, let’s add the effects of the short, dark, cloudy, cold, snowy days of February. You are spending your days in your pajamas, wrapped in a blanket, bingeing shows. To quote the Pete Seeger song, “My get up and go, has got up and went”.

When we are alone, we tend to make fewer healthy choices like choosing the couch rather than a walk, and snack food instead of cooking. Many older adults are resorting to simple fare such as tea and toast. If you are stuck in this cycle, cue up Queen and sing, “I Want to Break Free!”

Here are some things you can do. Start small and make one change every day.

  • Go outside. Look up at the sky, and breath.
  • Connect with someone every day. If you don’t have anyone to call, Community Care volunteers make friendly phone calls. You can either be a caller or be called.
  • Be where people are. Visit your local library, coffee shop or mall. Smile at those you pass.
  • Know your neighbours. Think about how you can help each other, such as offering to pick up groceries, shoveling, or help with the computer. Everyone has something to share and contribute.
  • Participate in an activity. Visit a recreation or senior activity centre or look for a virtual program you can do at home. Senior Centre Without Walls is a telephone program that has activities like chair exercise, chair yoga, and tea and chat. Call Activity Haven to register.
  • Ride the bus. Get to know your city by taking different routes. It is an adventure.
  • Understand your triggers. Decrease your alcohol, watching the news, or being with certain people if they are altering your moods.
  • Surround yourself with happy. Be with happy people. Buy bright flowers. Play your favourite music that makes you dance. Do what you love to do.
  • Find out who can help. There are many agencies that can support you. Visit the Peterborough Senior Service Directory on the Age-friendly Peterborough website, www.peterborough.ca/aging or call 211.
  • No excuses. It is easy to fall back to the comfortable blanket and the tea and toast but stay connected, you will be glad you did.
Who Can You Call - January 2023

It is sometimes difficult to find the information you are looking for. Some people have access to a computer and reliable Wi-Fi and can search. It is easy to ask Hey Google… what is the temperature. Questions that are more complex may require some system navigation.

People look for information in different ways. Those who want “Just the facts, Ma’am” (remember Joe Friday in Dragnet), can research on the internet, but others feel more comfortable discussing their question with a real person. It is also dependent on what you need to know. Looking at a map is often easier than hearing the directions.

The Peterborough Senior Service Directory, posted on the Age-friendly Peterborough (AFP) website, is where you can find local programs and services that support healthy aging. The AFP website also has a plethora of resources.

The information is also available by telephone if you dial 211. Did you know there is a three-digit telephone number system that is used to access special services? Each of these special numbers has been assigned by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). 211 is a free, confidential, multilingual, information and referral helpline. 211 Community Navigators help people find basic needs such as food, housing, and emergency financial assistance, and other support and community services. Here is an example:

A person called 211 when her dog died, and she didn’t know what to do. As she was sobbing on the phone, the Community Navigator, not only provided her with a service to pick up her dog, but they also suggested a local pet grieving support group, a program that she didn’t know existed. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone.

Most people are aware that when calling 911 you are accessing emergency services and this number is intended for use in emergency circumstances only. Did you know there are other three-digit telephone numbers in the system?

  • 211 connects you to a Community Navigator who provides community services and information.
  • 311 is used in large cities like Toronto and it connects the caller with that city’s services and programs. Our local municipalities do not use 311, but you can call your local city hall to access that information.
  • 411 is directory assistance for business or residential listings however there is a fee for accessing this service. It is like a phone book with a directory of phone numbers and addresses of businesses and people.
  • 511 provides free travel information such as highway conditions, roadwork, major incidents, and weather alerts. It is accessible via phone or online. This is an example where using the website is better. The map is a wonderful tool where you can access travel cameras and even track snowplows.
  • 611 is a direct call to your telephone company customer service and repair. Some providers who supply other services, such as internet or cable television, support these other services through 611.
  • 711 is an operator service that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or have a speech disorder to place calls to standard telephone users via a keyboard or assistive device.
  • 811 is the number to call for non-urgent health services, also known as Health Connect Ontario. It is available 24/7, is free, secure, and confidential. You can access symptom-based health information, navigation to programs and services, where doctors are accepting new patients, and referrals to clinical services including dietitian services or smoking cessation.
  • 911 is for life-threatening medical, fire and police emergencies only. The caller is connected to the dispatch office which they send emergency responders to the caller’s location to address the emergency.