MAPLE RIDGE – Maple Ridge MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare welcome a $15,000 grant from the province that will support seniors in living active, socially engaged and independent lives by making their community more age-friendly.
“Maple Ridge was recognized as an age-friendly community a couple of years ago. I’m thrilled that this funding will help continue this work in our community, laying the foundation for a bus co-operative to promote accessibility and social engagement for seniors in Maple Ridge,” said Beare. “It’s a great example of our government’s work to make life better for seniors.”
“Our new government is taking action across the board to make life more affordable for seniors and to ensure that seniors’ care is well supported and of the highest quality,” said D’Eith. “I’m pleased that the province is supporting this new initiative for seniors in our community – I’m looking forward to seeing the plans for a new community bus co-operative come out of this project.”
The On the Move: Seniors Transportation Initiative in Maple Ridge will create a plan for a community bus co-operative that engages seniors and will help provide them with recreation and healthy living activities. Focusing on increasing community accessibility and improving social participation for older adults, it will combine research on designing an effective transportation system, training for volunteer drivers and promotion of the initiative to relevant community organizations.
The local investment is part of the approximately $587,000 in age-friendly grants being provided to B.C. communities in 2018. MLA Beare said the number of communities that have received grants has almost doubled since 2017 and she is glad that people in Maple Ridge will benefit from projects focused on accessibility, physical activity and aging well.
The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and in September 2017, local governments were invited to apply. MLA D’Eith said these age-friendly grants will work to accommodate the changing needs of older residents in Maple Ridge while also contributing to the creation of sustainable, healthy communities for all British Columbians.
Today’s announcement builds on other significant investments the new government is making to support seniors:
investing $548 million over three years to improve care for seniors: adding more specialized primary care services, helping seniors stay in their homes longer with home and community care, and improving the quality of care in residential care homes;
increasing support from the Shelter Aid for Elderly Residents (SAFER) rental assistance program by an average of $930 per year;
expanding Fair PharmaCare coverage, including eliminating deductibles for families with net annual incomes under $30,000;
and launching a new surgical strategy to reduce wait times for hip and knee surgeries by increasing the number of surgeries performed in 2018-19 by 34%.
More information about age-friendly BC can be found by visiting: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly