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​CBAO Seniors Day Program- Culturally Sensitive Care for Our Elders

Pet therapy program at CBAO Seniors Day Program.

The legendary investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet once said that “the only way you do significant things is taking on tough things.” More than six years ago, a group of like-minded individuals — many of them members of our credit union — formed the Calabrian Benevolent Association of Ontario (CBAO). 

Almost from inception, members identified one particularly tough challenge: the dignified care of individuals living with dementia. 

The CBAO Seniors Day Program, which operates in Vaughan in collaboration with COSTI Immigrant Services, supports Italian seniors living with early stage dementia, their families and caregivers. Dr. Giovanni Marotta is the program’s medical director. 

This unique day program holds special significance for our credit union, and on behalf of our members, we have been proud to support it since it launched in late 2016, through fundraising efforts such as Una Serata in Calabria or volunteerism; our president and CEO, Fausto Gaudio, currently serves as the association’s chair and staff often volunteer their time and talents.

Caring for someone with dementia poses significant challenges. This unique program is designed to deliver support and addresses the particular needs of Italian-speaking seniors with early stage dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. It is based on research that shows the decline associated with dementia can be slowed through physical and mental exercises and socialization. In fact, very simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, can have a tremendous impact on moderating dementias.

Recent enhancements distinguish it from other day programs:

  • A three-step intake (assessment) which includes a service trial or try-out day
  • Empathetic support in the form of hospital and home visits following hospitalization
  • Education-based activities like drawing classes
  • Nutrition-balanced meal plans that include healthy and colourful dessert plates
  • New support group for caregivers.

With an estimated 228,000 Ontarians living with dementia, and with this number expected to double within two decades, this culturally sensitive program is one step in addressing a serious public health issue as well as the life-altering impacts of dementia on our nonni and the burden borne by family members who care for them.

Learn more about this benevolent organization and its good work at