Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quesnel/Wells receive BC Age Friendly Grants

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- Quesnel received $25,000 for resident retention, including seniors, is important to the long-term vibrancy of its community. This assessment of the city’s age-friendly capacity will set the foundation for the development of a plan, priorities and activities to enable more seniors to age in place. The assessment will include consultation in a world cafĂ© setting, meetings with relevant groups and organizations, and outreach to isolated seniors. Wells received $14,900 to increase community accessibility through two pilot programs to improve residential snow removal for seniors and those with disabilities, and to increase outdoor seating to provide rest areas, with bench installations on routes designated by seniors and community members. Both these programs will reduce isolation and improve overall accessibility for older adults.

From Fort St. John to Wells, eight communities in northern British Columbia are receiving age-friendly grants to support seniors, so they can live active, safe, socially engaged and independent lives.

“Seniors spent their lives building our communities — it’s important that they are included in them as they age,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “When we make communities age friendly, we make them more accessible for everyone.”

Approximately $587,000 in age-friendly grants are being provided to B.C. communities in 2018.

“We know that seniors who stay socially connected and active in the community live longer, healthier lives,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Anne Kang. “I encourage our communities to keep up the great work they’re doing to develop sustainable projects that support seniors in being connected to the people and activities they love.”

Grants will be distributed to Fort St. John, Fraser Lake, Kitimat, Prince George, Quesnel, Smithers, Stewart and Wells. The communities’ projects and plans include:

an assessment on how to make Fort St. John more age-friendly;
increased use of Fraser Lake’s community vehicle to help support seniors to socialize and be physically active;
the creation of an action plan to enhance seniors’ services in Kitimat;
the development of age-friendly recreation programs in Prince George;
a plan to help Quesnel seniors age in place;
a partnership with the Smithers public library to offer more large print and audio books;
a renovation to the Stewart seniors centre; and
the implementation of a project to increase the walkability of Wells.
The 2018 age-friendly grants will be distributed to 34 communities throughout B.C., almost double the number that received grants in 2017. This includes 12 communities that will receive grants of up to $25,000 for age-friendly assessments and action plans, and up to $15,000 awarded to 22 communities in support of age-friendly projects.

Communities that have completed steps towards becoming age-friendly can be officially recognized by the Province as an age-friendly British Columbia community. In 2017, Abbotsford, Keremeos, Salmo, Sicamous, Smithers and Tofino were officially recognized as age-friendly for their work in making their communities more accessible and inclusive for older adults.

The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. In September 2017, local governments were invited to apply for grants and encouraged to consider projects that focused on accessibility, aging well, physical activity and non-medical home supports. Successful applicants are eligible to apply for a range of services from BC Healthy Communities Society to support their project.

Learn More:

More information about age-friendly B.C. can be found by visiting:

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