Institute Facts

The Seniors’ Health and Wellness Institute Society (COSCO) is a registered Canadian charity (#801649062 RR0001) and a B.C. non-profit society (#S 0056866).

Beginning in 2007 with a single workshop, the Institute has grown to where we are currently able to offer 46 free health and wellness workshops for seniors across British Columbia. As of December 2020, almost 2900 workshops have been presented and 53,000 people have attended. Please see the table at the end of this document for details of our growth over the years.

During the pandemic [COVID-19] the most popular 28 topics have been available for virtual bookings. As of September 2021, either in-person or online workshops can be booked via our online system. To see what is available, go to our most current brochure at:

We rely on grants and donations to continue the work of preparing, maintaining and regularly updating free workshops on topics related to Healthy Living, Legal and Financial Issues, Safety and Personal Planning.

The PowerPoint presentations have been developed by facilitators and authenticated by topic specialists before being presented to groups of seniors. Our volunteers are primarily seniors themselves and have received in-house training to become facilitators. We currently have more than 40 facilitators available to present for seniors across the province. We always look forward to welcoming more.

Attendees are given summaries of the workshop material and are asked to consider how they might make use of the information to help them maintain their health and safety. Evaluation forms are completed after each workshop and many participants’ suggestions are incorporated when workshops are revised. Currently, many of the summary handouts are available in Chinese [Simplified] and Punjabi. We continue to pay for additional translations as our funding allows.

The Institute’s efforts to support health literacy among seniors has been applauded at national and international conferences and has been included in a book entitled Researching Transitions in Lifelong Learning.

How Are We Growing:

  • The Institute gives workshops in many parts of the province, with the help of more than 40 active presenters and facilitators. During the pandemic we reframed many of our sessions for online viewing and trained presenters to present our sessions online. In this way, we were able to continue with many of our presentations.
  • Presenters continue to hone their presentation skills through at least annual seminars [Gather, Share, Learn] which are complemented with hands-on orientations to new sessions such as the recently completed Personal Planning series of six workshops.

We thank our many donors, including New Horizons Grants, United Way, B.C. Government Ministry of Health, B.C. Retired Teachers Association and its Vancouver branch, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Vancouver Foundation and MLA Michael Lee’s office for grants and in-kind support over the years.

Thanks to detailed record keeping, the table below summarizes the growth of Seniors’ Health and Wellness over the years. Many thanks go to Sheila Pither for her initial leadership and to the current workshop committee: Roy Sinn – Webmaster, Royce Shook – Mentor, Sylvia Helmer – Data and Report Coordinator, Sally Caisley – Beyond-Metro Coordinator, Barb Mikulec – Chair/President, and Sue Evans – Workshop Coordinator/Administrator. These individuals together with Marion Hartley, David Bell and Theresa Buchner maintain, adapt, and update  our resources and materials on a regular basis.

Cumulative Data Table 2007 – 2020

2007 16 391 n/a
2008 55 972 n/a
2009 59 835 n/a
2010 121 1982 n/a
2011 108 2224 n/a
2012 205 3810 n/a
2013 340 5845 n/a
2014 264 5217 n/a
2015 318 5868 n/a
2016 337 6042 n/a
2017 268 5709 4495
2018 336 6544 1380
2019 303 5499 1410
2020 113 2024 572
TOTALS 2843 52962 7857