$2 million helps support seniors to stay at home longer

Funding for United Way’s Better at Home program, provides non-medical supports to help seniors remain independent in their homes longer

Ministry of Health

Last Friday Health Minister Terry Lake announced an additional $2 million in funding for United Way’s Better at Home program, which provides non-medical supports to help seniors remain independent in their homes for as long as possible.

“Seniors have given so much to our lives and our communities and government is committed to supporting them to remain in their homes and out of hospital as long as possible,” said Lake, who made the announcement at a symposium for seniors organized by ONCORE, a Better at Home service provider. “The services provided by the Better at Home program reflect the ministry’s strategic focus on strengthening home and community care.”

To date, government has provided $22 million in funding to enhance and support the operations of the Better at Home program, which now operates in 60 communities throughout B.C.

“Most seniors want to help themselves and others,” said seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie. “It is all of our responsibility to ensure they have the tools, supports and services to realize their full potential.”

Managed by United Way of the Lower Mainland, the Better at Home program services vary from community to community and are selected, along with service providers, through an engagement process that includes local seniors. Examples of Better at Home services include friendly visits, light yard work, minor home repair, grocery shopping, light housekeeping and transportation to appointments.

“Our mandate is to help seniors remain independent and active in their communities,” said United Way of the Lower Mainland president Michael McKnight. “We look forward to continuing to expand the Better at Home program.”

Better at Home is a key component of B.C.’s Seniors Action Plan, which commits to ensuring improved access to non-medical supports to help seniors stay in their own homes.

“The focus of today’s senior symposium is on age-friendly cities and rural communities and how we can all better support seniors where they live,” said ONCORE executive director Suzan Goguen. “As a service provider, we see first-hand the difference the Better at Home program makes in people’s lives and with this increase in funding, it is evident that government understands the importance of allowing seniors to maintain their independence.”

To learn more about Better at Home and programs and for a full listing of participating communities, please visit: www.betterathome.ca