Edition: Volume 5 Issue 12
Message from Parliamentary Secretary Michelle Stilwell
With the winter holidays almost upon us, I would like to share my appreciation for the many older adults, caregivers, health care providers, volunteers and community partners I have met during my first six months as the Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. I have a greater understanding and perspective on seniors’ concerns and interests because I have had the opportunity to meet so many people who have cared to share their experiences. Along with seniors, I’ve spoken with health care professionals who are passionate about the issues that face each of us as we age, and the many care providers who support seniors’ independence and dignity in a multitude of daily acts that greatly impact quality of life.
The seniors I have talked with were willing to share rich personal stories, world views that can only be gained through experience, and thought-provoking perspectives on being a modern senior. Many older adults I met challenge the stereotypes of seniors, forging new role models of aging that include unprecedented levels of volunteerism, physical activity, and social and community engagement.
By contributing many viewpoints on how seniors envision the practical details of their lives, I am given the opportunity through my role as Parliamentary Secretary to strengthen the services provided for British Columbia seniors.
I am pleased to share that, on December 11, 28 local governments in B.C. were awarded age-friendly community planning and project grants to support strategies to help seniors stay mobile, physically active, socially connected and healthy. These projects range from community planning to increasing accessibility to workshops on preventing elder abuse, and support the ongoing engagement of seniors within their communities.
The age-friendly community planning and project grant program is a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Local governments may receive up to $20,000 to help undertake a variety of activities – from setting public policy to delivering information and services that address the needs of older residents.
I greatly enjoy my role as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors and I look forward to meeting more seniors and those involved in seniors’ lives in the coming year.
Wishing you all the best for 2015!