News release

Celebrating the Contributions of Older Nova Scotians

Older Nova Scotians are enjoying healthy, longer lives. They are entrepreneurs, business leaders, active volunteers, mentors and caregivers. Seniors’ Week celebrates older adults and their contributions to their communities.

Cindy Lou Oulton started her own company, Annapolis Valley Luffa at the age of 55. Cindy left the Alberta oil industry to return to Nova Scotia to grow an environmentally-friendly alternative to sponges.

“Older adults continue to lead Nova Scotia forward,” says Leo Glavine, Minister of Seniors. “Whether running their own business, sharing their expertise on boards and commissions, mentoring or caring for others, our older population continues to support their communities and our province.”

That’s why the province launched SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population in 2017. Investments are creating age friendly communities, expanding community transit, supporting older workers and their employers, supporting entrepreneurship, increasing funding for home repairs and accommodations and expanding home care.


An aging population is both a challenge and an opportunity for Nova Scotia. We need to ensure that we put in place the services and products required to allow everyone to age well, while at the same time, we need to do all that we can to foster their inclusion in our communities and to incorporate their skills, knowledge and desire to contribute in order to build a better Nova Scotia. John Hamblin, board member, Aging 2.0 Halifax and Community Links Association of Nova Scotia

A significant barrier to people’s employment after age 55 is ageism; stereotyping and discrimination based on age. People over the age of 55 take much longer to find work than younger people. But we know older workers offer invaluable experience and knowledge. Whether an entrepreneur running their own business or contributing to the success of an organization, older Nova Scotians continue to make a positive impact on our province. Bill Berryman, chair, Seniors Advisory Council

I am so grateful to be able to grow this environmentally friendly product and build this viable business, bringing both jobs and revenue to our Nova Scotia economy. This fulfills my passion by providing a sustainable, reusable product from nature for our citizens and environment. Cindy Lou Oulton, Annapolis Valley Luffa

Quick Facts:

  • the world is aging, and so is Nova Scotia. By 2030 more than one in four Nova Scotians will be aged 65 and over
  • one in four Nova Scotians between the ages of 65 and 69 are in the workforce; 25 per cent of them are self-employed entrepreneurs
  • people over 50 have the highest business start-up rates. Five years after opening, 70 per cent of businesses started by older entrepreneurs were still operating, compared to 28 per cent started by younger people
  • in 2017, the federal Minister of Finance’s Advisory Panel on Economic Growth recommended that government work to increase the workforce participation of Canadians over 55
  • Seniors’ Safety Program builds relationships between seniors and policing, providing education about senior safety concerns including health, crime prevention and senior abuse prevention through 16 multi-year funding agreements across the province
  • Age Friendly Communities Grant program provides funding up to $25,000 for projects that lead to more age-friendly and inclusive communities. Close to $412,000 was awarded in 2018/19 to fund a range of initiatives that advance the goals of SHIFT. Projects fall into two categories, age friendly community planning and community projects

Additional Resources:

Change Maker Video of Annapolis Valley Luffa:

Information on the Department of Seniors, Seniors’ Safety and Age Friendly Community Grant program:

Updates on SHIFT:

Nova Scotia Seniors Twitter:


Media Contact:

Lynette MacLeod