Seniors’ ability to live active, safe, socially engaged and independent lives in their communities is being enhanced by $500,000 in age-friendly grants to local governments.
“Seniors deserve to live in good health and be fully connected to their communities for as long as possible,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Helping our communities make public transportation more accessible, provide more affordable housing and take other steps to support the needs of an aging population makes it easier for seniors to remain connected and independent.”
For the first time, the age-friendly communities grant program is launching a pilot program for Indigenous communities. Regional health authorities will work with the First Nations Health Authority to identify a total of five Indigenous communities to apply for $25,000 grants to support the development of an age-friendly community assessment or action plan.
Local governments must submit their applications for 2019 grants to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities by Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. They may apply for a grant of up to $25,000 for age-friendly assessments and action plans. Once an assessment and action plan has been developed, communities may apply for an additional grant of up to $15,000 to support age-friendly projects. Some examples of projects in demand of funding include seniors housing and transportation strategies, programs to support social connectedness and mental health, and strategies around dementia care.
The 2018 age-friendly grants were distributed to 34 communities throughout B.C., almost double the number that received grants in 2017. This included 12 communities that received grants of up to $25,000 for age-friendly assessments and action plans, and up to $15,000 awarded to 22 communities in support of age-friendly projects.
Communities that have completed steps toward becoming age-friendly can be officially recognized by the Province as an age-friendly British Columbia community. In 2017, Abbotsford, Keremeos, Salmo, Sicamous, Smithers and Tofino were officially recognized as age-friendly for their work in making their communities more accessible and inclusive for older adults.
The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Successful applicants are eligible to apply for a range of services from BC Healthy Communities Society to support their project.
Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors –
“Communities that take actions to become age-friendly are not only benefiting seniors, they’re supporting the health and safety of all their residents. I encourage communities working on projects to continue their good work and for new communities to apply for a grant.”
Wendy Booth, president, Union of British Columbia Municipalities –
“This program has helped communities across B.C. integrate the needs of seniors into local plans and improve amenities or services for seniors. I am glad to see this partnership between the Province and the UBCM continue.”
More information about age-friendly B.C. can be found by visiting: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly