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How government is supporting community-based seniors’ services

Community-based seniors’ services are funded by the Ministry of Health and managed by United Way BC and include non-medical home support services and health-promotion programming that supports physical activity, social engagement and connection to each other and community.

These services are integral to the Province’s plan to support seniors in maintaining their independence, resilience and decision to live at home for longer.  

Highlights from the Province’s investment include:

  • Expanding and evolving existing programs, such as Better at Home.
    • Since 2012, Better at Home has supported seniors with non-medical home-support services such as such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping, minor home repairs, snow shovelling and transportation to and from medical appointments.
    • Now, the program’s basket of services is expanding to put a greater emphasis on social connection. Agencies will be able to provide more opportunity for seniors to engage in group activities, attend social meals, receive more flexible transportation options and more. 
    • Other programs like the Family and Friend Caregiver Support Program and the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors, which have been operating as demonstration projects in B.C. since 2020, will also expand in number by approximately six-to-seven program sites per year (each), starting in 2025-26.
  • Modernizing the community-based seniors’ services (CBSS) sector’s service delivery model will include the creation of approximately 90 Community Collaboratives over two years.
  • Community Collaboratives will include a Better at Home program and other neighbouring senior-serving agencies that agree to co-ordinate their community’s program delivery based on each agencies’ strengths, capacities and experiences. Collaboratives will be organized in alignment with B.C.’s local health areas.
    • Community Collaboratives will be supported by the expansion of Community Connector positions across the province (from 19 currently to approximately 90 over two years, in alignment with Community Collaboratives).
    • The role of Community Connectors is to provide one-to-one support to seniors who are frail, or at risk for frailty, to develop health and wellness plans and then connect those seniors to the community programming and health services that meet their needs. Seniors who are less able to access services on their own will be prioritized.
  • Supporting recruitment and retention of community-based support staff and volunteers to help meet the growing demand for CBSS programs and services as the population of older adults in B.C. continues to increase. For example, more than half (64%) of Better at Home program co-ordinators are currently part-time. New funding will enable all programs to have full-time co-ordinators, which creates approximately 30 new full-time equivalent jobs in community.