From Keremeos to Elkford, 10 communities in the Interior of B.C. 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. “Seniors who are supported in their community see their health improve, make strong connections and feel included, and we are happy to support great examples of on-the-ground work.”
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 Lumby, Midway, Summerland, Warfield, Cranbrook, Elkford, Keremeos, Penticton, Rossland and Salmo. The communities’ projects and plans include:
- addressing the three significant barriers to seniors' involvement in Lumby, which are transportation, housing and food;
- developing an age-friendly plan in Midway;
- establishing an age-friendly advisory committee in Summerland;
- creating an age-friendly action plan for Warfield;
- improving communication in Cranbrook around age-friendly activities;
- developing a seniors’ outdoor exercise facility in Elkford;
- hosting a seniors "walk and talk" health information session in Keremeos;
- addressing gaps in existing services for seniors with disabilities in Penticton;
- creating a position for an age-friendly community co-ordinator in Rossland; and
- bridging the gap for seniors’ involvement in Salmo, with many activities planned.
The 2019 age-friendly grants will be distributed to 37 communities throughout B.C., three more than the number that received grants in 2018 and more than double the number that received grants in 2017. Together, up to $185,340 will be awarded to 10 communities in the Interior to help make them 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.