In conjunction with Seniors’ Week in B.C., Health Minister Terry Lake announced another $4 million in funding to United Way of the Lower Mainland for the continued operation of the Better at Home program.
This new funding brings the Province’s total support of Better at Home to $26 million. Available in more than 100 communities provincewide, the Better at Home program provides non-medical support to help seniors remain independent in their homes for as long as possible. Managed by United Way of the Lower Mainland, program services can vary between communities, but include friendly visiting, light yard work, minor home repairs, grocery shopping, light housekeeping and transportation to appointments.
“The ministry has set out a strategic direction to guide us in supporting the health of all British Columbians and this includes strengthening supports for seniors at the community level,” said Lake. “Better at Home compliments this priority by helping us support seniors’ independence and enables them to live in their own home for as long as possible.”
As of April 2015, the Better at Home program has funded six new rural and remote areas, which aim to be ready to assist clients this summer:
- Arrow Lakes (Nakusp, Burton, Fauquier, Edgewood)
- Columbia Valley (Invermere, Spillimacheen, Edgewater, Radium, Windermere, Panorama, Canal Flats)
- North Central B.C. (Fraser Lake, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof)
- Robson Valley (Valemount, McBride, Dunster, Tête Jaune Cache)
- Southern Gulf Islands (Pender Island, Mayne Island, Galiano Island, Saturna Island)
This Better at Home pilot project recognizes that seniors’ independence in rural and remote communities can be affected by factors such as geographic isolation, smaller population density and less infrastructure development.
“Community-based programs, such as Better at Home, enable seniors to remain engaged in their communities, and live safely and independently at home longer, which can have significant benefits to their health and wellness,” said Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors.
“The overall goal of Better at Home is to help seniors stay in their own homes longer, no matter where they live in the province,” said Michael McKnight, president & CEO, United Way of the Lower Mainland. “We know how important it is to age in place amongst your friends, families and neighbours.”
All seniors living in a Better at Home community can apply for services. The Better at Home service provider will assist the applicant in deciding which services are right for their circumstances.
Including the new rural and remote pilots, Better at Home currently runs more than 60 programs throughout British Columbia. For more information, and a list of participating communities, please visit: www.betterathome.ca
To read the Ministry of Health’s strategic document, Setting Priorities for the BC Health System and the accompanying policy papers, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=EF73BCF3DE34484CB4DBA9E34092402C
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)