Province chips in to help local seniors stay active, avoid social isolation

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Port Colbourne Museum

Six community projects, including one ran by the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum (pictured), will receive provincial funding to operate programs for Niagara’s over 65 population. Photo credit: Facebook/Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum

 

On Monday, the province announced nearly $72,000 in funding to help Niagara seniors stay both physically and mentally active in the year ahead. 

Provided through the Seniors Community Grant Program, the funds will help local municipalities and community organizations operate recreational and well-being programs for Niagara’s over-65 population. 

Projects include a series of older adult workshops hosted by the Township of West Lincoln at the West Lincoln Community Centre in Smithville, a seniors recreational and well-being program facilitated by the Town of Grimsby, and the Museum Memories project, facilitated by the Town of Lincoln.

Additional funding recipients across the region include the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, Faith Welland Church, and Heartland Forest in Niagara Falls.

“These projects will make a big difference in the lives of older Ontarians here in Niagara,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“They offer meaningful opportunities for older adults to safely take part in local life and keep connected to friends, family and the community.”

Ontario’s seniors are the province’s fastest growing demographic. By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65.

“Our government is proud to invest in local organizations which are well-positioned to meet the needs of seniors in their community,” said Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Cho.

“Seniors Community Grants provide tremendous enjoyment and personal value to older Ontarians.”

The Seniors Community Grants Program offers funding ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 for a variety of local projects. The individual grants for the six Niagara programs range from $7,200 for the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum, up to $17,436 for the Town of Lincoln.

“We are thrilled to learn about funding for the Town of Lincoln’s Museum Memories program and would like to extend our sincere thanks to MPP Oosterhoff and Minister Cho for supporting our community through the Seniors Community Grant Program,” said Lincoln mayor Sandra Easton.

“Museum Memories will help support seniors, people with disabilities and people facing barriers to promote collaboration, digital and visual literacy and social engagement in Lincoln.”

According to a Statistics Canada study released in Jun. 2020, ‘objective’ social isolation – low participation in community and family activities – appears directly correlated with higher rates of mortality amongst seniors. 

Low participation, per the study, “was significantly associated with death for men and women [over 65] even when the potential confounding effects of subjective isolation, socio-demographic characteristics, health status, and health behaviours were considered.”

Thus, sufficient funding for community programs is vitally important to the overall health and well-being of Niagara’s seniors. 

 

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