Charitable Foundation

Founded in 2011, and inspired by the history of philanthropy of The Retired Teachers of Ontario the RTO/ERO Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that invests in innovative initiatives promoting healthy, active aging. In addition to an initial $3million grant creating the RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the

University of Toronto, the RTO/ERO Foundation has to date funded a total of 12 projects related to aging research, education and community action to address social isolation for a value of almost $310,000.

In recognition of the RTO/ERO’s 50th Anniversary, the RTO/ERO Foundation is announcing a funding opportunity for projects that focus on research into educational initiatives for health and social care professionals designed to improve the health and wellness of older adults. This competition is open to qualified grantees based in Ontario and British Columbia.

About the RTO/ERO Foundation

Inspired by the generosity and philanthropic spirit of the retired education community, the RTO/ERO Foundation invests in its bold vision - to enhance the quality of life for aging adults - by funding:

  • Aging-related research and training
  • Innovative community initiatives that promote social connections and engagement among older adults

With each carefully-vetted project, the Foundation's goal is to create impact beyond the grant project partner, and to deepen knowledge across sectors that affect aging Canadians.  Soince 2014, the Foundation has invested $2.8 million in enhancing the aging experience.  Learn more at

"Senior Freindly 7" receives $50K Foundation grant in honour of RTO/ERO's 50th Anniversary

In recognition of 50 years of the Retired Teachers of Ontario/Les enseignantes et enseignants retraités de l’Ontario (RTO/ERO) serving its education community in retirement ,the RTO/ERO Foundation announced a $50,000 grant to be awarded to Sunnybrook Health Sciences’ Regional Geriatric Program (RGP) of Toronto. The grant project will focus on developing a "Senior Friendly 7" Practice Toolkit for Personal Support Workers (PSW SF7). These tools will guide personal support workers (PSWs) and care coordinators—both of whom are on the frontline of home and community care for frail seniors—working in community settings. "Evidence suggests that routine monitoring and intervention in these seven areas are most likely to improve the health and quality of life of frail seniors or those at risk of frailty," says Dr. Barbara Liu, principal investigator and executive director, RGP of Toronto. "The RGP envisions the creation and deployment of SF7 tools adapted for use across the sectors of care."
The concept of the Senior Friendly 7 (SF7), a foundational element of RGPs Senior Friendly Care strategy, promotes excellence in key areas of importance to the care and quality of life of frail seniors:
  • Mobility
  • Cognition, including Delirium
  • Nutrition
  • Pain management
  • Polypharmacy
  • Continence
  • Social engagement
"The ‘RTO/ERO 50th Anniversary Award’ is a wonderful way of honouring the tradition of lifelong learning and teaching that the RTO/ERO members embody," says Jo-Anne Sobie, executive director of the RTO/ERO Foundation. "We are pleased to award this ‘special edition’ grant to the SF7 project, which will lead to better approaches to the training of PSWs and care providers who care for frail seniors in their homes and in the community.”

Two new projects receive funding to empower healthier aging Canadians

In late October, the RTO/ERO Foundation proudly announced almost $50,000 in funding for two new aging-related research initiatives:

Urinary Incontinence Self-Screening for Healthy Aging is designed to increase awareness and timely treatment of urinary incontinence in older adults through a self-screening process, designed in two versions - one for men and one for women.  The self-screening project is based out of the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia, RTO/ERO's first grant in B.C.

Dancing for Cognition and Exercise (DANCE) is a series of 12 videos that engage frail older adults in fundamental movement that target balance, strength and body coordination.  Led by the GERAS Centre, part of Hamilton Health Sciences, the DANCE project is developed through a collaboration of a geriatrician, occupational therapist, research student trainees and trained dancers.  Once complete, the video learning tools will be widely accessible including through the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, an RTO/ERO partner.

by Dina Cordell

RTO/ERO Foundation
Contact 1-800-361-9888