LGBTQ seniors who live in and near Mississauga can find a wealth of city, regional, and provincial resources to make retirement healthier, safer, and more socially connected. Canada’s 6th largest city is proactive about maintaining its seniors’ quality of life—Mississauga is currently working toward World Health Organization certification as an “Age-Friendly Community.” Local health centre resources include dedicated programs for LGBTTQ seniors and a commitment to an anti-oppression practices. And the Regional Municipality of Peel and the Greater Toronto Area, both of which include Mississauga, have their own resources for GLBT seniors and their families.
Housing support and services for Mississauga seniors
The City of Mississauga runs several programs to help seniors age in place and to find suitable housing. Among them are seasonal help with snow removal and lawn trimming, support groups for family caregivers, senior fraud prevention and enforcement, and transportation assistance and discounts. Ontario’s provincial government also offers help for seniors in the form of grants and low-cost loans to add accessibility and safety features to seniors’ homes.
The Region of Peel is working to add senior housing capacity as the population ages. Region-supported affordable housing communities include the Millbrook Place apartment tower in central Mississauga and the Summerville Pines complex, also downtown. The region also operates adult day care services, respite care programs, and an opt-in program to help track seniors who have a history of wandering in order to keep them safer.
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Health and wellbeing resources for LGBT seniors
The Peel region offers residents healthy sexuality services in 6 clinics that are open to all local adults of all ages and orientations. Three of these sites are in Mississauga, and they provide free STI testing and counseling, free condoms, and anonymous HIV testing to the public. The East Mississauga Community Health Centre provides programs tailored to seniors and LGBTTQI adults. Eligible seniors can access primary health care, dental services, and other health services. The East Mississauga CHC also runs QX programs that include weekly social gatherings, queer and trans advocacy and health support, and counseling referrals. Free folk dance, yoga, and exercise classes are open to seniors age 65 and older.
LGBTQ seniors who need help finding care can also connect with Rainbow Health Ontario, a provincial advocacy and support agency that acts as a clearinghouse for information about LGBT-friendly medical providers, counselors, and case managers throughout the province.
Mississauga’s municipal Centre for Active Aging is a 1,200-member facility that’s open daily to host club meetings, special events, and workshops. The Square One Older Adult Centre has an even larger membership that participates in day trips, fitness classes, and special programs for deaf seniors and members of several ethnic groups.
Pride Week and other LGBTTQ events
Regular social gatherings are nice, but big events can be fun, too. Mississauga is the home of Pride Week in Peel each July, when the region’s gay, lesbian, trans, 2-spirit, intersex, queer and questioning residents and their friends get together for several days of music, parties, a parade, and workshops. Pride Week in Peel picks up just a couple of weeks after one of the world’s largest pride events, Pride Toronto, which brings more than a million visitors to the region for 10 days of festivities each June.
Mississauga’s senior and LGBTTQ resources give LGBT older adults the support and the social network they need to enjoy retirement living in one of Canada’s most vibrant communities.