Golden is one of 26 communities throughout the province who will be receiving an Age-Friendly BC grant in 2014 to support a variety of projects designed to help older adults stay mobile, physically active and healthy.
“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 Terry Lake, health minister. “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.
Golden applied for the grant just before the deadline after Coun. Connie Barlow brought the opportunity to the attention of council.
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.
The intention when applying for the grant was to use the funds to create an age-friendly plan for the community, focussing on one or more of the following components: transportation, housing, respect and social inclusion, social participation, communication, health services, or outdoor spaces and buildings.
“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 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.
Golden has been given $19,600 to complete the age-friendly plan.