The B.C. Ministry of Health is distributing 10 age-friendly grants to communities in the Interior. In total, $185,340 will be distributed amongst the communities to promote active, socially-engaged and independent living for seniors. Black Press file photo

10 Interior communities receive age-friendly grants

Penticton, Keremeos and Summerland all have separate projects planned for their grant money

Penticton is one of 10 Interior communities receiving an age-friendly grant from the B.C. Ministry of Health to help area seniors live active, socially engaged and independent lives.

According to a release from the Ministry of Health, the ministry is distributing a total of $729,500 to 37 B.C. communities, including four First Nations communities.

The other nine communities also receiving the grant are Keremeos, Summerland, Lumby, Midway, Warfield, Cranbrook, Elkford, Rossland and Sumo. In total, these interior communities will receive $185,340 of the available grant money.

“We’re proud to say that this round of age-friendly grants is the second-largest we’ve ever had,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in the release. “Seniors who are supported in their community see their health improve, make strong connections and feel included, and we are happy to support great examples of on-the-ground work.”

“Seniors are at the heart of their communities, and it’s important that they are able to age well at home so they can continue to contribute positively to their neighbourhoods,” said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors, in the release. “The impact of the age-friendly grants is great, and because of the success of the program, we have seen it grow year after year.”

Penticton will use its $15,000 grant to address gaps in existing services for seniors with disabilities. According to the release, the city has recognized a sizable gap in its Aging-Actively Strategic Plan and will address the needs of seniros with cognitive, developmental and intellectual disabilities.

“This initiative will be designed to increase the social and physical well-being of seniors with disabilities by providing recreation opportunities to which they might not normally have access,” states the release.

Keremeos will also be awarded $15,000 in grant money and plans to host a seniors’ “walk and talk” health information session. According to the release, the event will include refreshments and talks on health information topics with local health professionals, and seniors will be involved in the planning of the walking routes and the topics.

Summerland intends to form an age-friendly advisory committee with its $21,460 grant to assess its community in all age-friendly components. The release states the committee will review recent planning documents on culture, parks and recreation, sidewalks, trails and cycling through an age-friendly lens.

The B.C. Ministry of Health is pleased to announce they are providing grant funding to three more communities than last year and more than double the number recieved in 2017.

“The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities,” states the release. “In September 2018, local governments and First Nations communities were invited to apply for grants and encouraged to consider projects that focused on accessibility, aging well, physical activity and non-medical home supports.”

More information about Age-Friendly BC can be found at www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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