People in British Columbia whose first language is Tagalog or Hindi can now access the updated BC Seniors’ Guide in their own language.
The enhanced 12th edition of the guide was published in July 2021 in seven languages: English, Chinese, French, Punjabi, Farsi, Korean and Vietnamese. All languages can be accessed online in PDF format, and print copies can be ordered through the Office of the Seniors Advocate.
“The BC Seniors’ Guide is a valuable resource as it links older adults to information they need to help make important decisions as they age. B.C. is also a diverse and multilingual province, and our government recognizes the need to ensure that all residents can access support and services in the language they are the most comfortable using,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors' Services and Long-Term Care. “That is why in July we translated the guide into six languages, and now, we are adding translations in Tagalog and Hindi for the approximately 15,270 B.C. seniors who speak these languages.”
The new seniors' guide includes information on programs, such as:
- Fair PharmaCare;
- Medical Services Plan;
- the Home Adaptations for Independence program, which provides financial assistance for low-income seniors to modify their homes;
- Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters, which helps make rents affordable for low- to moderate-income seniors;
- the B.C. Senior's Supplement, which offers a provincial top-up to the federal Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement payment;
- the Travel Assistance Program, which offers discounts for travel within the province for medical specialists' services not available in local communities; and
- the B.C. Bus Pass program, which offers subsidized bus passes to low-income seniors.
The 12th edition includes sections on digital literacy, cultural safety, 2SLGBTQ+ supports and medical assistance in dying. The guide directs individuals to the BC Centre for Disease Control for information regarding COVID-19.
"British Columbia is one of the most diverse, multicultural and multilingual provinces in Canada, and the senior population reflects that diversity. It’s crucial people have the information they need in a language they understand so as to make the best choices as they age and remain active and engaged in their communities," said Isobel Mackenzie, seniors advocate.
To access the BC Seniors' Guide in all nine languages, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/seniorsguide
To order free print copies, call (toll-free): 1 877 952-3181
Or in Greater Victoria: 250 952-3181
- According to the 2016 Census:
- An estimated 10,060 seniors living in B.C. speak Tagalog at home, and this is 1.2% of the B.C. seniors’ population.
- An estimated 5,210 seniors living in B.C. speak Hindi at home, and this is 0.6% of the seniors’ population of B.C.
- An estimated 848,985 seniors 65 and older live in B.C.
SeniorsBC website: www.SeniorsBC.ca
Office of the Seniors Advocate BC website: https://www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca/
HealthLink BC website: www.healthlinkbc.ca
bc211: seniors and Elders can access Safe Seniors, Strong Communities, a program through United Way, that was launched during COVID-19 and matches older adults who need support with non-medical essentials, to volunteers in their community: http://www.bc211.ca/safe-seniors-strong-communities/
Or by dialling 211.