After receiving a funding grant from the province, Christina Lake will be looking at strategies for improving life for seniors in the area.
The Lake, through the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), was one of 28 communities across B.C. to be awarded an age-friendly community planning and project grant. The grants are aimed at supporting strategies to help seniors stay mobile, physically active, socially connected and healthy.
Christina Lake received the maximum allotment of $20,000 for a project titled “Charting a course for an age-friendly Christina Lake.”
Grace McGregor, RDKB chair and Area C representative, said the grant will help the Lake develop a study on aging in the community.
“I’m very happy about it,” she said. “I want to talk with people on a one-to-one level. I want to do a stint now in the winter and again in the spring for people that are gone so we have an idea what their needs are as they grow older, what they think they want to do, what there expectations are, and if they want to stay at the Lake what is it they need to do that.”
McGregor said the grant will allow them to hire someone to put together the project and conduct the interviews.
“The questionnaire will be put together with the input of the seniors committee on what kind of questions we need to ask and that kind of thing,” said McGregor.
McGregor said that currently the Lake does not have any senior’s housing units but it is an issue that have looked at before.
“It’s about aspects of aging,” she said. “If you’re aging at Christina Lake what do you expect to do? Do you expect to stay in your home with help that way, or do you expect at some point to move into some sort of facility. Do you want to move to Grand Forks or stay at Christina Lake. If you want to stay at Christina Lake what are your expectations and what would you need to do that.”
McGregor said they’ve been looking into senior’s housing in the area for more than seven years but all their information is becoming out of date so the grant comes at a perfect time.
“We need to update that information and go back to the drawing board and have a different look at what Christina Lake expects. I’m really happy about receiving the money at this time because it really helps us do it right and it helps us involve the whole community.”
The age-friendly community planning and project grant program is a partnership between the government of B.C. and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).
“Community projects from accessible trails to workshops on preventing elder abuse have significant impacts on the health of older adults,” said Michelle Stilwell, parliament secretary for Healthy Living and Seniors, in a press release. “I am particularly pleased to see numerous communities’ projects focused on accessibility and keeping seniors safe.”
In total, the provincial government announced further funding of $500,000 towards the age-friendly grants program. Other communities receiving the grants include Lake Cowichan, Merritt, Oak Bay, Oliver, Keremeos and Sparwood.