The Ministry of Health announced a $15 million grant to United Way of the Lower Mainland to expand the non-medical home support programs that have been piloted under the name Community Action for Seniors Independence (CASI).
February 14, 2012
Today the Ministry of Health announced a $15 million grant to United Way of the Lower Mainland to expand the non-medical home support programs that have been piloted under the name Community Action for Seniors Independence (CASI). This was part of a larger announcement of government’s action plan to address seniors’ issues. The action plan will support healthy aging to improve the quality of life for BC seniors to help them remain independent for as long as possible.
United Way will use the funding to expand the availability of non-medical home support services in up to 65 communities across the province over the next three years. This will build on five pilots already underway which offer seniors access to a range of support services, such as transportation, housekeeping, home repair, yard maintenance, friendly visiting, and information and referral. More than 800 seniors have already registered to receive these services, and initial feedback from agencies and clients has been positive.
“We applaud government for expanding non-medical home support for seniors,” said Michael McKnight, president and CEO, United Way of the Lower Mainland. “The five pilots are making a significant difference to seniors who want to stay in their homes longer and require some simple services to help them do so. They make a lot of sense and are the right thing to do.”
Research has shown that many seniors face poverty, loneliness and isolation as they age for numerous reasons: low income, unstable housing, lack of transportation options, poor physical or mental health, and social exclusion because of culture or language.
United Way has been working to address these barriers for this growing population. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we have been mobilizing the partnership of others – including all levels of government, non-profits, business, labour, senior-serving organizations, and seniors themselves – to take action to ensure that seniors can live independent and active lives for as long as possible.
Non-medical home supports are only one part of a continuum of care and support that seniors need to live a quality life. While that full continuum is still a work in progress in BC, this is an important and significant step forward. Without the ongoing support and generosity from our partners and donors, we would not have been able to achieve this amazing milestone and help seniors live long and healthy lives in their communities.