Better at Home announces new sites

Minister of State for Seniors Ralph Sultan, Minister (and Langley MLA) Mary Polak, and United Way of the Lower Mainland CEO Michael McKnight attended a launch event in Langley to announce new Better at Home sites.

The Better at Home program is more than tripling the number of sites, adding 38 new locations including First Nations communities around the province. Designed to help seniors age 65 and older live in their own homes longer by providing simple services delivered by local non-profit agencies, Better at Home is managed by the United Way of the Lower Mainland and funded by the Government of British Columbia.

Please see the media release and backgrounder for more information on potential Better at Home sites across British Columbia.

More information on the launch event is available on the website of the United Way of the Lower Mainland.

Photo (left to right): Michael McKnight, President & CEO United Way of the Lower Mainland; Mary Polak, MLA for Langley; Barb Stack, Executive Director, Langley Senior Resources Society; Minister of State for Seniors, Ralph Sultan.

Click here to see more photos.

Better at Home gets closer to home

Since the Better at Home project was announced last year, we have moved into implementation mode. Local Community Developers have been recruited in 18 communities to assess local readiness to implement Better at Home programs.

These community developers have been sourcing and developing profiles of the local seniors’ population, in conversation with seniors themselves. Community conversations are currently being held to help identify the non-medical home support needs and priorities of older adults in each potential Better at Home community. Stakeholder interviews, focus groups, surveys, community meetings, and various outreach strategies are being employed to ensure widespread engagement with seniors, minority groups, and Aboriginal populations.

Finally, community developers are generating a picture of current services supporting seniors to remain independent; ensuring that Better at Home will work alongside and in support of existing programs being delivered by government, non-profits, and the private sector. Consultation processes have wrapped up in a number of communities and final community profile reports will be added to the Research and Reports section as they become available.

Working with communities is absolutely key to the success of Better at Home, so even though we are all very keen to see services implemented as soon as possible, we are committed to listening to local voices and ensuring that this input forms the core of how services are delivered on the ground.

If you would like to participate in discussions regarding the needs of seniors around non-medical home support services in your community, please visit our community consultation page to find out more about scheduled meetings and to get in touch with the relevant community developer in your area.

Thank you for helping to make your voices heard and helping to build Better at Home programs that respect local diversity and conditions and build upon existing assets and cultures.

Photo at top: Community Developer April Struthers (left) facilitating a community meeting in Sechelt, 28 November 2012