Coordinator Laura Van Dyk is leading the Neighbours Engaging in Activities Together (NEAT) program coming to Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

NEAT program needs older adults in Oak Bay

12-week program builds neighbourhood connections

A popular program designed to create social connections and promote physical activity is coming to Oak Bay.

Laura Van Dyk works for Saanich and is bringing Island Health’s 12-week Neighbours Engaging in Activities Together (NEAT) program to Oak Bay starting Sept. 20.

The free, social program offers older adults a chance to try new activities and meet new friends, Van Dyk said.

Classes are led by recreation therapists who help participants with self-management challenges and motivation.

“Participants actually decide which activities they would like to do,” Van Dyk said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Older adults are at higher risk of becoming isolated and there is a lot of new research that shows the benefits of social connection and physical activity and the importance of staying engaged, Van Dyk added.

“However, people who have never been engaged in community recreation may find the thought daunting and completely unappealing.”

Thus Island Health launched the NEAT program to connect with older adults who want to be involved but don’t know where to start. Others are slowly growing more isolated because of barriers such as fixed income.

The activities range from board games and water colour painting to memoir writing or chair yoga.

“As we age some life experiences get in the way and create challenges to staying socially connected,” Van Dyk said. “If mobility becomes challenging, financial resources become limited or you lose a loved one, it can leave you feeling lethargic, depressed and not motivated to leave the house.”

The program starts Sept. 20 in Oak Bay. It also runs in Saanich, Victoria and Sidney, all through partnerships between municipal parks and recreation staff and Island Health.

For more information contact laura.vandyk@saanich.ca.  

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rare white orca spotted hunting off shores of Alaska for first time

Tl’uk seems healthy and strong, says researcher

Mental health challenges add to youth stress load

Part 2 in a Black Press series on Youth Homelessness

Langford bike park rolling along to completion

New park a tribute to Jordie Lunn’s legacy

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read