A housing study for First Nations Elders and developing social networks are among the projects benefiting seniors in the 18 B.C. communities receiving a total of $342,430 in age-friendly community planning and project grants this year.
“Seniors play an integral role in shaping our province and when we put supports in place that benefit older British Columbians, entire communities can benefit,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Age-friendly grants help seniors live better by helping them to stay involved, remain healthy, independent and maintain important local connections.”
The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). In September 2016, local governments were invited to apply for grants of up to $20,000 and encouraged to consider projects that focused on accessibility, aging well, physical activity and non-medical home supports. Successful applicants are eligible to apply for a range of services to support their project from BC Healthy Communities Society.
“These grants are an example of how the Province supports seniors in remaining socially active as well as staying in touch with their communities,” said Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “Age-friendly grants help older British Columbians by improving quality of life through a variety of programs that range from programming on nutrition to making parks more accessible.”
Some examples of 2017 grants include: a seniors’ social program in the North Okanagan that will provide education and activities on a wide variety of topics including hearing loss, the importance of flu shots, and how to avoid scams; a seniors’ housing action plan in the Village of Lytton that will ensure facilities and services are in place within the community so that local seniors and First Nations Elders may remain close to their families as they age; and, improving dementia awareness in West Vancouver.
“This longstanding program has provided funding for close to three hundred projects in B.C. communities,” said Murry Krause, UBCM president. “We appreciate the continuing provincial support for local age-friendly initiatives.”
Since 2007, age-friendly communities grants have funded 286 projects throughout British Columbia, totalling $3.75 million.
More information about Age-friendly BC can be found by visiting: www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly