South Asian & Newcomer Seniors to Benefit from Expanded Service


An increased number of South Asian seniors and newcomers in Richmond Hill now have access to a program that will enhance their quality of life, reduce social isolation and promote their independence and well-being thanks to the expansion of CHATS-Community & Home Assistance to Seniors South Asian Adult Day Program from three days per week to five days per week.

The program, which currently serves 53 clients at Crescent Village in Richmond Hill three days a week, has added an additional two days of service at the Elgin West Community Centre and Pool in Richmond Hill as of February 10, 2014. Thirty-four additional seniors, who have been waitlisted for several months, will now join the program.

In partnership with Crescent Village in Richmond Hill, CHATS initially received funding from the Central Local Health Integration Network (Central LHIN) to develop and implement a two day per week Newcomer / South Asian Adult Day Program in March 2012. Due to the program’s popularity, a third day was added in February 2013.

“By efficiently managing our resources, coupled by the support we’ve received from Crescent Village and the community being served, we were able to expand the program,” says Christina Bisanz, CHATS’ CEO. “We’re delighted to be able to respond to this special need in the community, enhancing inclusivity for South Asian and newcomer seniors in Richmond Hill,” she added.

Ashraf, a client since it began in 2012, considers the South Asian Adult Day Program invaluable. “The program has allowed me to make new friends, meet and talk to others about the everyday issues and challenges we face, and get some great support from the wonderful staff and volunteers who work there. The program relieves frustration, stress and depression. With these key benefits, my mental state and outlook on life has greatly improved and I’m starting to feel happy, healthy and stronger.”

The program – which is delivered in Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tagalog and English – follows the CHATS Wellness Framework: health promotion, engaging with life, optimizing physical and mental function, managing chronic illnesses, and caregiver support. Activities include health and wellness presentations, gentle exercise, computer training, games, crafts, outings, and a nutritious lunch. Health and wellness education is provided by local agencies, often with language-specific presentations and materials. Transportation is available to ensure seniors have easy access to the program.

The program is a safe place where seniors feel welcomed and supported by their peers, a place to gather, to share a meal with friends, a place to learn ways to manage their health and well-being, a way for people to stay connected and reduce social isolation.


CHATS is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides programs and services to enhance the health, wellness and independence of more than 7,600 seniors and caregivers each year. CHATS offers a full range of in-home and community services that enable seniors to continue living in their own homes, such as in-home help and care, Meals on Wheels, transportation, home safety services, wellness/social programs, diversity outreach programs, caregiver support and education, hospital-to-home transition, and much more. Based on a passion for caring and community, more than 580 volunteers are the heart and soul of CHATS.

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