The provincial government is ensuring older adults with mobility challenges can get to appointments and run errands.
An investment of $3.5 million in Healthy Aging Alberta will be used to ensure older adults can access affordable transportation throughout the province.
“Seniors often have trouble accessing these critical supports, which can lead to more serious health and mental health issues,” a government of Alberta press release said.
“It is important to our government that seniors can live independently in their communities. They need to know that they can be supported in the communities they call home, which is why this funding is so important, as it strengthens transportation in all areas of the province. This means easier access to health care, grocery stores, socialization and so much more,” Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jeremy Nixon said.
United Way Calgary and Area began the Healthy Aging Alberta initiative focusing on working with community-based organizations, volunteer-based bus drivers, and other assisted transportation programs in communities that are prioritizing healthy aging for older adults, the release said.
“Alberta can be one of the best places in the world to grow older. This announcement means seniors can continue participating in their community in a meaningful way as they age. This investment towards assisted transportation provides much-needed support. It is a commitment to creating social change and building inclusive communities where every person matters, regardless of their situation in life,” United Way of Calgary and Area president and CEO Karen Young said.
Alberta’s senior population is projected to grow to more than one million by 2035, with more than 50 per cent of older adults being over 75, the release said.
Rural communities with a high percentage of low-income older adults will be prioritized, however, the three-year program will support 20 initiatives across the province.
“This is good news. We know our seniors benefit greatly when they can connect with the broader community.
Removing barriers to transit ensures seniors have access to the services and activities available in our city. Our aging population living on a fixed income can struggle to make appointments, see loved ones and participate in activities they enjoy. Access and mobility are key to making this happen,” Silvera for Seniors CEO Arlene Adamson said.