From Burnaby to Maple Ridge, four communities in Fraser Health are receiving age-friendly grants to support seniors so they can live active, socially engaged and independent lives.
“We’re proud to say that this round of age-friendly grants is the second-largest we’ve ever had,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “That means even more communities have the opportunity to create age-friendly spaces, opportunities and programs for their local seniors to be engaged.”
A total of $729,500 in age-friendly grants are being provided to B.C. communities in 2019, including, for the first time, four First Nations communities.
“Seniors are at the heart of their communities, and it’s important that they are able to age well at home so they can continue to contribute positively to their neighbourhoods,” said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “The impact of the age-friendly grants is great, and because of the success of the program, we have seen it grow year after year.”
Grants will be distributed to Surrey, Burnaby, Port Moody and Maple Ridge. Projects and plans include:
- developing a program to understand the needs of seniors in Surrey;
- creating a “working together” planning table to co-ordinate services for seniors in Burnaby;
- developing an age-friendly assessment and action plan for Port Moody; and
- starting a wayfinding, mapping and place-making project in Maple Ridge.
The 2019 age-friendly grants will be distributed to 37 communities throughout B.C., three more than received grants in 2018 and more than double the number that received grants in 2017. This includes Burnaby and Port Moody, which will receive grants of up to $25,000 for age-friendly assessments and action plans. Up to $15,000 will be awarded to Surrey and Maple Ridge to support 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 2018, New Westminster and Mackenzie 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. In September 2018, local governments and First Nations communities were invited to apply for grants 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 from BC Healthy Communities Society to support their project.
More information about Age-friendly BC can be found online: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly
A backgrounder follows.