Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows will collaborate on a project to enhance the quality of life of local seniors, and are among 28 B.C. communities that have been awarded age-friendly community planning and project grants.
These grants are designed to support strategies to help seniors stay mobile, physically active, socially connected and healthy.
“Supporting seniors’ independence and health in their home communities is part of the province’s strategic vision for an age-friendly British Columbia,” said Health Minister Terry Lake in December, announcing the grant.
“These grants will see local governments develop locally focused plans and projects to support the needs of older adults.”
The local communities were given $20,000 for their project – the maximum amount allowed under the grant program. The project is called Seniors Engaged, Energized and Collaborative, and it will be an assessment and action plan for seniors.
The age-friendly community planning and project grant program is a partnership between the Government of B.C. and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. Each successful local government receives up to $20,000 to help undertake a variety of activities – from setting public policy to delivering information and services – that address the needs of older residents. In September 2014, the Ministry of Health announced further funding of $500,000 to continue to support the grant program.
“Community projects, from accessible trails to workshops on preventing elder abuse, have significant impacts on the health of older adults,” said Michelle Stilwell, parliamentary secretary for Healthy Living and Seniors. “I am particularly pleased to see numerous communities’ projects focused on accessibility and keeping seniors safe.”
For the 2015 grants, local governments were encouraged to consider projects that complement Accessibility 2024 and other provincial priorities for seniors such as dementia, elder abuse prevention and non-medical home supports. Accessibility 2024 is government’s 10-year plan to make B.C. the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada. Of the 28 funded projects, 12 projects include a focus on accessibility. Other successful applicants will specifically address issues facing seniors in rural communities.
“This long running program provides a capacity boost for communities that are making changes to better support the needs of seniors,” said Union of BC Municipalities president Sav Dhaliwal. “I appreciate the Government of British Columbia’s continuing support for this valued program.”