Oak Bay is one of 28 B.C. communities awarded age-friendly community planning and project grants to support strategies to help seniors stay mobile, physically active, socially connected and healthy, Health Minister Terry Lake announced last week.
“Supporting seniors’ independence and health in their home communities is part of the province’s strategic vision for an age-friendly British Columbia,” said Lake. “These grants will see local governments develop locally focused plans and projects to support the needs of older adults.”
Oak Bay will get $20,000 to implement an Age-friendly Action Plan. The district is among 18 that will use their grants to conduct age-friendly community assessments and develop action plans.
“That’s a first step in our study as to how to improve our walking infrastructure particularly as it relates to seniors, and seniors who use walkers and seniors who use scooters,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. “We always look for partnerships with the different organizations … It allows us to do things we otherwise would not have been able to afford.”
The age-friendly community planning and project grant program is a partnership between the provincial government 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.
“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.”