The Town of Osoyoos now has $20,000 to play with as it works out how to make the community more “age-friendly” for its senior population.
Osoyoos last week was one of 34 BC communities to receive age-friendly grants from the provincial government.
“Osoyoos has a very high seniors’ population, and will engage with them through surveys and open houses to develop its age-friendly community action plan,” the province noted.
“With a goal to help seniors live life actively and free from barriers, the project will also work with municipal staff and Interior Health to address issues related to transportation, affordable housing, social inclusion and health services.
Gerald Davis, the Town’s Director of Community Services, said his department has already started work on building the age-friendly plan.
“Since receiving the funding, we have secured Cardea Health Consulting to complete this assessment,” he explained. “They will conduct interviews with stakeholders, conduct a series of open-house meetings, review past and current reports and circulate an online and hard-copy survey.
“Once they complete the assessment, this will become part of the final application stage to become an Age Friendly Community.”
About $587,000 in age-friendly grants are being provided to B.C. communities in 2018.
The 34 age-friendly grants distributed in 2018 are almost double the number of grants in 2017. This year’s allotment 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.
“Once we are “age-friendly approved,” we will be eligible to apply for other grant opportunities to assist the Town in reaching its identified goals of becoming more age friendly,” said Mr. Davis.
The age-friendly communities grant program is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.