Grant supports age-friendly project

Focus continues on transportation system for seniors.

The District of Sicamous has been awarded a second grant of $20,000 to assist in the community becoming age friendly.

Awarded by the B.C. government for age-friendly community planning and projects, the grant money is intended to help seniors stay mobile, physically active, socially connected and healthy.

In Sicamous, the funding will go towards the next stages of becoming a leader as an age-friendly community.

There are two main components of this project: increasing accessibility compliance throughout the district and finalizing the new seniors transportation services plan so that it is streamlined, cost effective and sustainable.

Regarding the transportation component, Sicamous Coun. Malcolm Makayev says work is already underway to establish a transportation system essentially for seniors. This is being done under the guidance of consultant Jeanne Rokosh and a local advisory committee.

“We’re just striking up a transportation route and everybody will be asked to present to council what their proposal is to accomplish that,” commented Makayev.

As for increasing accessibility, Makayev explained this is to be done through a philosophy of universal design – an “inclusive design for people with disabilities, young people, elders….”

“It won’t be a cost-driver that would prohibit developers…,” explained Makayev. “But it would be an incentive to help people age in the community, and families throughout the community, and move more towards being age friendly and help towards one of my other goals for our community, to be more dementia inclusive.”

Makayev said this phase would ideally become embedded in the community’s official community plan.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District also received  $20,000. That money will be used to conduct an age-friendly assessment of South Shuswap Area C.

In partnership with the South Shuswap Health Services Society, the regional district will hold public consultations in South Shuswap communities to gather the input and information necessary to develop an age-friendly plan for the South Shuswap, states a related news release.

“The District of Sicamous and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are doing excellent work to ensure our citizens have the services they need as they age,” said Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo. “Our government’s support, combined with municipal commitment, is helping to build communities that are even more welcoming to our growing senior population.”