Renewed support for Age-friendly grants

provincial government announced Friday that it is committing $500,000 for 2016 Age-friendly Community Planning and Project grants

Ministry of Health

The provincial government announced Friday that it is committing $500,000 for 2016 Age-friendly Community Planning and Project grants to help local governments establish or continue projects and community planning that supports healthy, active seniors.

“With a growing population of seniors, including many who value their independence, it’s important that B.C. communities be equipped to meet their needs,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “The Age-friendly grants make possible innovative programs and municipal planning that greatly benefit seniors throughout British Columbia, including those experiencing mobility and other health challenges.”

According to the program’s website, District of Barriere received an Age-friendly pilot project in 2008 plus an Age-friendly grant in 2013. District of Clearwater received an Age-friendly grant in 2012.

For the 2016 round of Age-friendly grants, communities are encouraged to consider projects and community planning that focus on accessibility, dementia, elder abuse prevention and non-medical home supports. Applications for 2016 grants are due to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) by Friday, Oct. 30, 2015.

“Currently, almost one-sixth of B.C.’s population is over 65 years old. We are proud to support communities  their seniors with these grants through UBCM,” said Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors.

To date, over 140 local governments in all areas of B.C. have received at least one grant and over 240 projects have been funded. Age-friendly grants provide up to $20,000 to municipal governments for projects that engage seniors within the larger community

Some examples of age-friendly projects and community planning include:

• creation of local age-friendly plans;

• senior-focused recreation and social programs;

• community and age-friendly accessibility assessments and official community plan updates;

• senior-friendly information sources; community gardens and healthy eating and wellness programs; and

• community awareness and supports for those living with dementia and their families.

With the recent funding announcement, government’s total investment in age-friendly initiatives is $5.25 million.