From Sooke to Port Hardy, seven communities on Vancouver Island are receiving age-friendly grants to support seniors so they can live active, socially engaged and independent lives.
“We are listening to seniors in this province and providing funding for age-friendly action items to help them age at home in their communities,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Seniors who are connected to their communities and are active live longer, healthier lives and our government wants to keep that continuing.”
A total of $729,500 in age-friendly grants are being provided to First Nations and B.C. communities in 2019.
“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 Alberni-Clayoquot, Cumberland, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Port Hardy, Tahsis and Sooke. The communities’ projects and plans include:
- creating an action plan to make Alberni-Clayoquot more age-friendly;
- assessing and planning so Cumberland can better include seniors and help them age in place;
- conducting an assessment to make Nanaimo more age-friendly, including reducing social isolation and improving social networks/organizations;
- doing an age-friendly assessment to ensure Port Alberni’s seniors are supported;
- creating a garden space for the Hardy Bay Seniors’ Centre;
- planning for an age-friendly community in Tahsis; and
- Sooke is continuing its Healthy Eating for Active Living program.
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 $140,000 will be awarded to communities on Vancouver Island 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.