The Older Adult Unit's Support Services Program provides Friendly Visiting, Telephone Assurance, and Walk-a-Bit services to frail homebound seniors who reside in their own homes/apartments. These services help seniors maintain an independent lifestyle by reducing isolation and loneliness through the support of friendship and socializing. Programs are free of charge. 

The office of the Support Services Programs is located within the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre. Programs are funded by the City of Thunder Bay and the Ministry of Health.

How the services work

Referrals to the Support Services Programs are accepted from agencies, family members, and friends. An assessment visit with the senior is completed by Support Services staff, and every effort is made to appropriately match senior clients with a compatible volunteer who has similar interests. Volunteers are thoroughly screened and receive orientation, training, and staff support. Regular follow-up calls and visits are made to ensure that the friendship is progressing and that both the volunteer and senior are enjoying the visiting/telephone calls. Confidentiality is an essential component of the programs. All volunteers are required to sign and respect confidentiality agreements, must pass a mandatory Police Records Check, and complete a training/orientation session.

2 ladies sitting and visiting

The Older Adult Unit's Support Services Programs offers many programs to frail or homebound seniors. These programs are:

  • Friendly Visiting Program
  • Telephone Assurance Program
  • Walk-a-Bit Program

These programs help seniors stay independent and social. All programs are free of charge.

Friendly visiting program

The Friendly Visiting Program matches visiting volunteers with a homebound senior for an in-home visit. The program matches you based on your similar interests and location, if possible. Volunteers visit in person to provide friendship and support.

Telephone assurance program

The Telephone Assurance Program connects a volunteer and a senior over the telephone. Volunteers call seniors on a regular basis - either daily or weekly, Monday to Friday. Volunteers call either from the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre or from the volunteer's home.

Walk-a-bit program

The Walk-a-Bit Program allows seniors to get out for a short weekly walk with a volunteer. This program helps to relieve some of the stresses seniors may feel about going out.

Health and wellness programs and services

The Heath and Wellness area offers a comfortable setting for seniors to get health and wellness services and information on a regular basis. Health Matters is a free monthly program that focuses on health topics and issues facing people 55 plus.

General support services programs information

We accept referrals to the Support Services Programs from agencies, family members, and friends. The Support Services staff completes an assessment visit with the senior. Every effort is made to match the senior client with a volunteer who has similar interests. Volunteers are carefully screened and receive orientation, training and staff support. Regular follow-up calls and visits are made to make sure that the volunteer and the senior are both enjoying the visits/telephone calls. Confidentiality is an important part of these programs. All volunteers are required to sign and respect confidentiality agreements. They must also pass a Police Records Check and complete training and orientation sessions.


Volunteering is a great way to learn, grow, have fun, meet new friends, serve your community, and gain work experience. Volunteers work together to make a difference in our community and make it a better place for everyone to live.

Volunteer help is essential in the Support Services area. We will do our best to match you with a senior that has common interests. Applicants must be 18 years of age, and a Police Records Check is required.

How to apply

To apply to be a Support Services volunteer, print out the application form below and return to the main office at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre or email Volunteer Coordinator

Fill out the Volunteer Application.

For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 807-684-3277.

If you require a PDF in an accessible format, email our Municipal Accessibility Specialist.

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