New online video series to help create an age-friendly Maple Ridge and B.C.

A few adjustments can help keep seniors healthy longer, easing load on health-care system

staff reporter

The provincial government has released a series of online videos aimed at helping local governments and communities become more age-friendly.

These new videos, available online at www.seniorsbc.ca/agefriendly/afbc_video, highlight how several B.C. communities have taken action to become more accommodating to seniors.

Almost one-sixth of B.C.’s population is over 65 years old and the number of seniors living in B.C is expected to almost double over the next 20 years.

In an age-friendly community, B.C. seniors are supported to live active, socially-engaged and independent lives. An age-friendly community provides welcoming public spaces, accessible transportation, affordable housing options and employment and  volunteer opportunities. These communities also provide information and services which fit the needs of seniors.

For older people, living in an age-friendly community can help them continue to lead active, independent and healthy lives.

Engaging in healthy lifestyles can prevent, minimize or even reverse poor physical and mental health in old age. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help the health care system by reducing the need for health and social services.

“B.C. is recognized as a leader in Canada in supporting the creation of age-friendly communities,” said health minister Michael de Jong. “Age-friendly BC is one of the many ways the Province continues to support older British Columbians remain healthy, active and connected in their communities.”

Local government and community representatives – along with seniors from Lumby, Revelstoke, Saanich, Sechelt, Abbotsford, Richmond, Vancouver and the North Shore – are showcased in the videos to help inspire other communities through their examples.

The videos are hosted by Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the Vancouver-based International Council on Active Aging, and member of the Seniors Healthy Living Advisory Network.

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