Seniors Helping Seniors: Providing Peer Support for Health and Wellness

“The program helped me lose weight and increase stamina and strength.  My blood pressure pills have been reduced by half and my mood is much improved.”  – participant

Project Lead

HaiDong Liang, WSAC Executive Director

Janice Monfries and HaiDong Liang, PhD –  Westend Seniors Activity Centre.

Partnerships: A team of professionals from the University of Alberta and the Edmonton West Primary Care Network including a nutritionist, a registered dietician, a senior’s recreational program planner and a fitness trainer.

“I think it is a wonderful program for seniors, we need to move and be productive human beings.”            – participant


A balanced diet, coupled with exercise, leads to better health in the population and among seniors in particular.  Additionally, a more active population may have fewer healthcare needs.

This project engaged seniors to achieve these benefits for themselves and other seniors, by addressing their fitness and nutrition concerns, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Project Summary

Through this project, we were able to train, motivate and support a diverse group of seniors to lead a healthy lifestyle themselves and to become peer coaches for others. This eight-week program was repeated several times over the year of funding, and included a highly customized fitness program, nutritional workshops, cooking classes, and a monthly newsletter with motivational tips for healthy living.


This project led to a cohort of healthy seniors, who could model the difference of a healthier lifestyle and train their peers to adopt the same changes.

“Access to health and fitness expertise; the personal commitment of leaders and participants is an inspiration to continue.” – participant

Read the reflection on the learnings from this project here.

What’s Next?

The Seniors Helping Seniors program has been distilled down to focus on physical activity, and is now available as an online toolkit.  This format allows any seniors activity centre to access the tailored seniors’ physical activity program, the peer leader training guide and the seniors’ stretch routine.

To read more about other Innovation Fund Projects, click here.


“This is an excellent program which should continue to help more seniors!” – participant