Canadian Community Resources for Seniors Experiencing Alcohol Problems

Did you know that Canada is fortunate to have several programs specifically designed to help seniors with substance abuse problems? As well, sometimes other programs will have a staff person who is specially trained to work with older clients.

Training and senior-specific approach are the two criteria for this list.

In addition, some organizations provide housing and care to older adults with substance use problems. Soon you will be able to click here for information on some of these social model of care approaches.

As with any other health or social problem, no one program or approach will work for everyone, and this listing is not an endorsement of any particular program. As well, this is not a complete listing. However, given alphabetically and geographically, they include:


Substance Abuse in Later Life (SAILL)  provides an outpatient program in Calgary for those aged 60 and over through Geriatric Consultation Services at the Rockyview Hospital. Education/Lifestyle Enhancement and alumni groups, case management, individual and family counselling, and outreach are components of the program.

The team includes a recreation therapist, registered nurse, social worker and a consulting physician. Phone 403-943-3441 or 943-3152.


Alexandra Health Clinic, Calgary, phone 403-920-0011.


Safe Haven is a special 27 bed Continuing Care unit in a facility in Edmonton, belonging to the CAPITAL CARE Group.

This is not a treatment program. However, the unit accommodates seniors who have chosen drinking as a lifestyle. It uses a harm reduction approach within a social model of care. Residents must be eligible for placement in long term care. Beds are accessed through Capital Health's Regional Continuing Care Services.

For more information call: Janet Fung, Director of Care, Capital Care Norwood, 10410-111 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, T5G 3A2. Phone: (780) 496-3212.



Atlantic Canada (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia,  Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick)



To the best of my knowledge, there are no special programs in Atlantic Canada specifically for seniors available at present. 


Prince Edward Island has set up a co-dependency group for seniors at Mt. Herbert. Contact Jim Good.  Phone: (902) 368-4289.



British Columbia

Elderly Services Program has an outreach alcohol program in Prince George for people aged 55 and over. Phone Louise Holland (250-565-7408),  Elderly Services Program, Mental Health and Addiction Services, 3rd floor, 1444  Edmonton Street, Prince George, V2M 6W5.


Abbotsford Addiction Centre.  Sharon Elliott, counsellor.  

Direct number for Addiction Services in Abbotsford: 604-850-5106.

2450 Montrose Avenue, Abbotsford, B.C.  V2S 3S9



SWAP (Seniors Well Aware Program), has been providing an outreach program for people aged 55+ for over 25 years in  Vancouver, Burnaby & New Westminster & South Surrey/ White Rock. Services include: client and public education (SWAP Players), one to one counselling, support groups, withdrawal management, care management.


Important Note: As of March 31, 2007 SWAP will no longer be providing outreach and related services to older adults.  In Vancouver, these services will be provided directly by Vancouver Coastal Health. SWAP's office will be moving at that time as well. SWAP will continue with prevention and education, as well as support groups.

SWAP's website is

3rd Floor, 1290 Hornby St.,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1W2
Phone: (604) 633-4230
Fax: (604) 633-4231


Richmond Addiction Services has an outreach counsellor for older adults.


Richmond Addiction Services

170-5720 Minoru Boulevard
Richmond, BC
V6X 2A9
Phone: 604-270-9220
Fax: 604-270-9245

VISTA (Victoria Innovative Seniors Treatment Approach) is an outreach program in Victoria.

Phone (250) 953-3966. Also provides abuse counselling for seniors. 

Mailing address:

2828 Nanaimo St. Victoria BC V8T 4W9




S.U.M.I.T. (Substance Use Management and Treatment) is a special program for seniors being offered in Manitoba at the Seven Oaks Hospital. Phone: 204-632-3557 or 204-632-3554; Fax 204-632-8896. Their website describes the program and answers frequently asked questions.


Partners Seeking Solutions with Seniors is not a treatment program, but it is a valuable community resource. It is a coalition of over 50 stakeholders - older adults, self-help groups, health care professionals, seniors-serving agencies, addictions staff, government representatives, academics and pharmacists from across Manitoba who meet together regularly around issues of seniors and substance misuse and abuse.



Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut



To the best of my knowledge, there are no special programs specifically for older adults available in the Northern regions at present.





Community Outreach Programs in Addictions (COPA) has an outreach alcohol/drug / gambling program in Toronto for people aged 55 and over. Marilyn White-Campbell Coordinator of Clinical and Community Services Geriatric Addictions Specialist.

Contact info: Community Outreach Programs in Addictions 27 Roncesvalles Ave Suite 407 Toronto, Ontario M6R 3B2

Phone: 416 516 2982 ext 222

Fax: 416 516 2984



St. Joseph's Care Group- Addiction Services, Sister Margaret Smith Center offers services for seniors in Thunder Bay.  Phone 807-343-2425.


The Centre  offers programming to meet the needs of the older adult and to address financial, leisure, family, social, mental health and legal issues that have occurred as a result of gambling. Click here for more information.


Older Wiser Lifestyles (TM)  is a seniors' program in Hamilton. They offer an educational group with six sessions and a support group that meets bi-weekly to assist in improving seniors' health and enhancing lifestyle.  Phone Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Services: 905-546-3606 for an appointment.
PAARC (Older Persons Program at the Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre) began in February, 1999.  The program  serves Mississauga- Brampton. It offers comprehensive substance use treatment services for individuals fifty-five and older within their own homes. Contact Carolyn Thompson, Counsellor /Case Manager. Phone: 905-629-1007, extension 23.



Groupe Harmonie is a trained and coordinated, volunteer-based outreach program for seniors in Montréal, phone (514) 939-2640.  Service is bilingual. See:



Centre Dollard-Cormier offers "Programmes Personnes 55 ans et plus".   This program offers counselling, support groups, and detoxification for seniors.  They also offer assistance to family affected by an older person's drinking or other drug misuse.

"Programme qui propose des services de réadaptation adaptés aux conditions particulières, aux activités et aux habitudes de vie des personnes âgées ainsi qu'à leur entourage."

For more information see:

950 de Louvain est, Montréal, QC. H2M 2E8 Phone: 514-385-0046.

Christian Carpenter



Griffith-Edwards House located near the Montreal General Hospital offers support groups for seniors in English. 1604, av. des Pins Ouest, Montréal, QC. Phone: 514-934-8311.





To the best of my knowledge, there are no special programs specifically for seniors available at present in Saskatchewan. 


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