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Three Port Coquitlam projects receive $68K federal boost to keep seniors active

In hopes of beating isolation, local community groups are set to use the funds to host in-person and virtual programs for older residents.

A trio of Port Coquitlam-based organizations is hoping to get seniors out and active in the community.

And this week, each got an extra hand to help make those programs possible.

On Monday (Aug. 22), the federal government unveiled $67,873 in grant funding for three projects aimed to connect older residents with their neighbourhoods and bring them out of that isolation feeling.

Most seniors communities and care homes were closed or restricted to the general public to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but that resulted in a lower quality of life and loneliness.

The money is being distributed through Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), which allowed local seniors societies to apply for up to $25,000 for financial support.

"I am glad that seniors in Port Coquitlam will benefit from the New Horizons for Seniors Program. Over the years, this great initiative has continuously made positive changes in seniors' lives and Canadian communities," said Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon in a release.

He was on site at the Terry Fox Library for the announcement alongside Kamal Khera, federal minister of seniors.

"Thanks to the New Horizons for Seniors Program, seniors across Canada will continue to thrive and grow by staying active and engaged in their communities."

Broken down, the Port Coquitlam funding is going toward the following:

Hawthorne Seniors Care Community

  • $25,000
  • Senior Connections: Decreasing Loneliness and Isolation through Music and Memory
    • "Seniors involved with the organization will engage elementary school weekly where seniors and youth connect virtually in order to support the social participation and inclusion of seniors."

Wilson Centre Seniors' Advisory Association

  • $24,650
  • A Series of Fortunate Events
    • "Seniors involved with the organization will host workshops and organizing activities to promote healthy ageing, participation, inclusion and preventing abuse."

New View Society

  • $18,223
  • Maplewood Manor Senior Initiatives
    • "Seniors involved with the organization will receive capital assistance and attend a mental health workshop in order to support the social participation and inclusion of seniors."

Qualifying organizations needed to submit projects that focused on ongoing seniors' issues and priorities identified by the feds that includes healthy aging, preventing abuse, celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion.

"This important announcement will allow seniors in Port Coquitlam to participate in meaningful activities that nurture their personal growth and foster community prosperity," added Khera in the same statement.

"Through the New Horizons for Seniors Program, our government not only encourages seniors to stay active and engaged in their communities, but also increases social participation and inclusion. This is key to ensuring they have the quality of life they so truly deserve."

The PoCo projects were three of almost 400 approved in B.C. during the intake, totalling nearly $8.5 million in grant funding. 

According to the federal government, seniors are expected to represent one-quarter of Canada's population by 2030 — up to nearly 9.4 million people.