The Coast has a new Seniors Planning Table, hosted by the Community Resource Centre, and funded by the Community Foundation. The Seniors Planning Table is made up of a number of organizations wanting to improve how things work for older adults on the Coast.
During the fall of 2014, a number of community based gatherings of older adults aged 60 – 90+ from Pender Harbour to Langdale identified a number of issues to be addressed. Generally speaking, many people don’t know what financial supports and what services are available when and if they need them. The need for greater inter-agency communication and collaboration to help seniors get the help they need was also identified. In addition, first year priorities include increasing safety for older adults who are vulnerable due to falling, abuse, homelessness and substandard housing, and dementia.
The Seniors Planning Table will look at how things work now and work towards enhancements.
The first Seniors Planning Table public event was the Housing Forum where Isobel Mackenzie, BC’s Senior’s Advocate spoke on May 23. Small groups discussed various housing options with a summary report soon to be available. If you are an older adult who is renting, do you know about the rental subsidy program called Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER)? You may be eligible if as a single person 60 or over, your monthly before tax income is less than $2,222, you spend more than 30% on rent and you meet other eligibility criteria. To find out more call 1-800-257-7756 or http://www.bchousing.org/Options/Rental_market/SAFER/Eligibility
June 7-13 is BC Seniors Week, and June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Events are taking place up and down the Coast and throughout the province to celebrate the immense contributions older adults make to our communities and to recognize their rights. Here on the Coast, the local Community Response Network is holding an awareness booth in the lobby at Sechelt Hospital on June 15 from 10am – 2pm. A number of staff training events are also taking place about how best to respond to seniors’ needs. The Seniors Planning Table will also be hosting a Information series this summer.
Stay tuned for sessions on the aging well, planning ahead, accessing financial benefits and more. For more information about the Seniors Planning Table call the Community Resource Centre – 604.885.4088.