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Age-friendly grants help seniors stay physically active and mobile

 

Twenty-six communities throughout the province will receive 2014 Age-friendly BC grants to support a variety of projects designed to help older adults stay mobile, physically active and healthy, Health Minister Terry Lake announced today.

“This year communities were encouraged to consider projects that complemented three provincial priorities for seniors: elder abuse prevention, dementia care and non-medical home support,” said Lake. “Each approved project reflects the vision of an age-friendly British Columbia, in which older people are supported to live active, socially engaged and independent lives.

Specific examples of approved 2014 Age-friendly BC grants include: elder abuse and “train the trainer” workshops in Tumbler Ridge to raise awareness about how to recognize and respond to elder abuse; Pemberton’s “Seniors Interacting Through Art” program aimed at assisting seniors to communicate and express themselves more fully; and Invermere’s companion program designed to match seniors with volunteers who will assist with everyday living activities such as shovelling the sidewalk and grocery delivery.

In the East Kootenay region, Invermere will be receiving $19,310 for its program and Golden will also receive $19,600 for an area age-friendly plan.

“Seniors helped build our province and are the cornerstone of families and communities,” said Linda Larson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors. “The Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program reflects our work with local governments, Union of British Columbia Municipalities and other partners to achieve a vision where people of all ages and abilities feel included and valued in their communities.”

Applications for the 2014 round of age-friendly grants were reviewed by a committee of staff from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and the Ministry of Health. Sixteen out of the 26 communities approved to receive a grant had not received funding under the program between 2009 and 2013. Close to $500,000 will be awarded to this year’s successful grant applicants.

“The approved applications are from rural and urban communities throughout the province,” said Rhona Martin, president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. “We are pleased to see so many new recipients in the current round of funding.”

The Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program is a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. To date, age-friendly grants have funded over 200 projects in over 120 B.C. communities helping to keep seniors active, healthy and independent.

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