How to book a free workshop for your seniors group

Since 2007, over 50,000 people throughout BC have participated in the Seniors’ Health and Wellness Institute’s free health promotion workshops. We now offer workshops on over 40 different issues and topics of particular interest to seniors.

Each 45 to 90 minute workshop is available free of charge to any seniors’ group of 10 or more. A trained senior volunteer presents practical and usable information. These workshops are not intended to provide any specific legal, medical or financial advice, just a better understanding and practical suggestions.

You can download a copy of the current brochure with a listing of the workshops by clicking on the button below.

Free Workshops for seniors

Note: Online workshops currently available are limited to those with an *

Move your mouse over the workshop title for a description

Healthy living

  • Advocacy *Whether you are advocating for yourself or someone else, important skills, strategies and practical suggestions are presented.
  • Age-friendly communitiesThis workshop will assist individuals and groups to promote community environments that support health and well-being, not only for older adults but for all citizens.
  • Care for the Caregiver *We examine causes of caregiver burnout and suggest how to prevent it. Sources of assistance and support are reviewed.
  • Chronic diseasesWe outline the warning signs of four of the diseases that are most likely to affect the health of senior adults: Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Lung Disease. Early recognition is emphasized.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary DiseaseCOPD is an umbrella term that includes two different types of lung diseases: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The workshop examines the potential causes and treatment options, including helpful breathing techniques.
  • Dealing with Conflict *Conflict with others is a normal part of life. Conflict occurs when something we care about feels threatened. Conflict management strategies help us limit the negative aspects of the conflict with others and increase the positive parts. Learning ways to manage conflict when it does come up helps us get what we need, or create a compromise that everyone can live with.
  • Dealing with stress *None of us can lead totally stress free lives, however, excessive stress harms the quality of life of many seniors. We help to identify and handle sources of stress.
  • DiabetesType 2 diabetes is now one of the most widespread chronic diseases worldwide and is most prevalent in people older than 40. Causes, possible preventative measures and managing the disease are discussed.
  • Healthier Aging with less medicationDeprescribing is the supervised process of reducing dosage or stopping a medication that might be causing harm or is no longer of benefit. Some medications need to be reduced slowly to avoid withdrawal effects. Deprescribing is done with the help of your health care provider. The goal of this deprescribing workshop is to explain why reducing your medications should be something you should ask your health care provider to consider.
  • Healthy Eating for Seniors *How to use Canada’s revised Food Guide and food labels to make healthy food choices.
  • HearingWe review the anatomy of the ear, common causes of hearing loss, various remedies, and how to choose hearing aids.
  • Hypertension *We review the effects of high blood pressure. The workshop discusses the need to monitor blood pressure, treatment options, and the importance of prompt diagnosis.
  • Identifying Addiction *Three major kinds of addiction that seniors may need to deal with are Alcohol Abuse, Gambling Addiction and Medication Abuse. We examine the risk factors, and suggest how to approach a friend or family member when you suspect addiction.
  • Knowing Your BladderHow the bladder functions and the causes of bladder incontinence, infection and irritation are explained. We discuss possible remedies and life style changes that can help to reduce or eliminate this problem.
  • Medication Awareness *The potential misuse of medications is a growing concern. Information about how seniors can interact with doctors and pharmacists to ensure safe and effective use of medications is presented.
  • Memory and Aging *This workshop explains how memory functions and how it changes as we age. We give tips for maintaining and improving memory, and information about when to seek professional help.
  • Mental Health *Are you concerned about your mental health? An overview of mental disorders and ways individuals can contribute to their own mental health are discussed.
  • Navigating the Emergency Department *In this workshop we review some of the reasons for going to the Emergency Department and some reasons not to go. How to prepare for a visit and what to expect when you arrive.
  • Navigating the Health Care System *We review many of the available medical services and what you can expect from them. Effective communication between the patient and the health care provider is emphasized.
  • OsteoarthritisThis debilitating disease is the most common form of arthritis. We describe the symptoms, explain self-management strategies, and review various therapies.
  • OsteoporosisThis bone disease, often called the “silent thief”, is the underlying cause of many falls. We discuss the causes, risk factors, and recent treatment options.
  • Palliative careThe focus of this workshop is on the comfort and dignity of patients as they cope with serious illness. The scope of palliative care is explained. The overall goal is to manage pain, and to provide appropriate care to enable the individual to live to the fullest.
  • Parkinson’s diseaseThis workshop provides a clear explanation of the changes in the brain which cause the disease. Signs and symptoms are discussed and treatment options are examined.
  • Skin conditionsFour major skin problems are discussed: cancer, shingles, nails fungus and pressure sores. Pictures illustrate potential warning signs. The importance of early diagnosis is emphasized.
  • Sleep *Many older adults find it difficult to get enough sleep and this workshop explores the reasons and remedies. Information about lifestyle changes that may help is provided.
  • Social Connectedness *Loneliness and isolation are unhealthy. This workshop examines the social determinants of health and well-being. It helps participants to determine the level of social connectedness they need and how to achieve it.
  • Stroke *As we age, the possibility of experiencing a stroke increases. We describe the types of strokes emphasizing mini-strokes, early warning signs and information about prevention.
  • Technology and Aging *We describe how technology can help manage the demands of daily living, connect with family and friends, and access assistance when needed.
  • VisionWe describe the structure of the eye and explain major diseases that may affect older adults. We stress prevention and explore possible treatments.

Legal & Financial

  • Financial LiteracyThis workshop gives an overview of how to handle and protect your money including banking and borrowing. We discuss and explain financial terminology.
  • Frauds and Scams *We investigate the ways in which fraudsters take in people in order to rob them of their money and possessions. Seniors are frequent victims, and need to be aware of how to protect themselves.
  • Housing and the Care Continuum *We explain the continuum of care for housing in BC. Requirements and procedures for accessing appropriate housing are discussed.
  • Pension and Tax OptionsThis workshop describes the potential pension benefits that may occur if a couple enters involuntary separation. The workshop also deals with the rules which govern tax allowances for caregivers and disabled persons. The procedures and forms to use to apply for these allowances are reviewed.

Personal Planning

  • Personal Planning Overview *The wisdom of having a personal plan is emphasized. Representation Agreements, Powers of Attorney and Advance Directives are needed to express your wishes regarding personal care, certain financial matters and end of life care if you are no longer able to speak for yourself.
  • Advanced Care PlanningBritish Columbia has legislation that allows individuals to express their wishes, usually in writing, regarding the care they want to receive or reject. While we encourage people to have a conversation with their families or friends an advance care plan is a written summary of the discussion about the individual’s values and instructions. This workshop looks at the options that can go into this written summary.
  • Advanced DirectiveMany seniors in BC are not familiar with what this legal document is and is not. In this workshop, we discuss what a person should do to prepare to create an Advanced Directive when a person should have an Advanced Directive, what it is and what it is not, when it can be used and when it may be ignored.
  • Power of AttorneyThere are four types of Power of Attorney in BC, most people are familiar with only one. In this workshop, we discuss all four types. We also consider when you need a Power of Attorney, the steps you should take to consider who to appoint as your Attorney, the duties of your Attorney, problems with having a Power of Attorney and how to change your Attorney if needed.
  • Representation AgreementThese legal and binding documents allow an individual to have someone else speak for them in health and personal care and routine financial affairs if they are incapable of speaking for themselves. There are two types of Representation Agreements in BC and we discuss the importance and differences of the two types of document, who to consider appointing to be your Representative, their duties and responsibilities.
  • WillsWe review the legal rules for preparing wills in B.C., the duties of an executor, legal terminology, and pitfalls to avoid.


  • Emergency PreparednessWhen disaster strikes people need to be ready. We explore the preparation of emergency kits, safety procedures in dangerous situations and give information about when and how to seek help.
  • Falls Prevention *We review the alarming impact falls have on the well-being of seniors and identify hazards that contribute to the likelihood of falls. We recommend safeguards and demonstrate exercises to improve balance and strength.
  • Keeping Seniors Safe *Abuse and neglect of seniors takes many forms. Participants learn how to identify suspicious signs and symptoms. We review potential causes, intervention techniques, and where to find help.
  • Pedestrian SafetyAlthough walking has many benefits for older adults there is also a need to understand its potential hazards and take necessary precautions. This workshop also covers the use of public transit and improving safety in the community.
  • Safety in the Home *We provide detailed checklists of potential dangers outside the home and in every room indoors. We review fire hazards, medications and childproofing the home. We show safety devices, and provide tips for effective renovations.

Updated June 2020

COSCO Seniors' Health & Wellness Institute
BC non-profit registration number S-0056866
Registered Canadian Charity — Charity# 80164 9062 RR0001

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