Four Fraser Valley Communities Receiving Age-Friendly Grants To Support Seniors

Victoria/Kent/Surrey/Langley/Maple Ridge – From Kent to Surrey, four communities in the Fraser Valley are receiving age-friendly grants to support British Columbia 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 Kent, Langley, Maple Ridge and Surrey. The communities’ projects and plans include:

* a fitness-circuit project in Kent to help seniors stay active;

* an age-friendly business recognition pilot program, and the development and delivery of social programs at community gardens in Langley;

* a program to improve transportation for seniors in Maple Ridge; and

* a mobile community-care unit that will provide support services directly to seniors who are homeless or unsettled in Surrey.

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.

These web pages will help you discover what you can do to make your community age-friendly.

Local government officials and staff, and interested community members, can get information on the benefits and the key features of an age-friendly community; the steps to becoming an age-friendly community; and how to get recognized for their efforts.

Business owners can learn what it means to be an age-friendly business, and how their business rates on the age-friendly scale.

See how innovative communities around the province are making great strides in becoming age-friendly. Get ideas for your own age-friendly initiatives.

Find links to a wide range of supports, tools and resources to help you get started in making your community or business age-friendly.

The Ministry of Health is continuing to work with local governments, health authorities and the BC Healthy Communities Society to support local age-friendly initiatives.

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