Active, Connected, and Engaged!
These are the keys to health and wellness for all of us, but they become particularly important as we age.
Based on these simple essentials, Healthy Aging develops and supports a range of programs and activities that support seniors.
Our work is informed by the community, in service to the community. Through collaboration and engagement with the Community-Based Seniors’ Services sector, we’ve developed a service model that is collaborative and responsive, flexible and strong.
This kind of intentional and ongoing community engagement ensures our programs remain relevant and meaningful – that they reduce seniors’ isolation and enhance the quality of life for older British Columbians, their families, friends, caregivers, and allies.
- Healthy Aging Team
- In the News
- Research & Reports
- Community Engagement
- Project Impact Healthy Aging
- CBSS Leadership Council
Healthy Aging Programs
United Way Healthy Aging administers grants and manages programs that provide exceptional quality-of-life benefits to seniors, helping them stay Active, Connected and Engaged! The Healthy Aging portfolio currently features eight different grant streams. A network of 195 community-based service agencies deliver 331 Healthy Aging programs throughout British Columbia.
The eight provincial community grants/programs include Better at Home, Family & Friend Caregiver Supports, Social Prescribing, Therapeutic Activation Programs for Seniors (TAPS), Navigation and Peer Support, Digital Learning Program/Active Aging Plus, Men’s Sheds and Emergency Preparedness and Response.
The focus is primarily on health promotion and preventive practices, while also offering seniors-centered programming and services that foster independence, social engagement, physical activity, and a sense of belonging.
In light of the pandemic restrictions being lifted, the service offerings for these initiatives have transitioned from primarily check-ins to now include in-person programming. This shift allows for more direct and interactive engagement with the older adult community, further enhancing the benefits and impact of these programs.
Healthy Aging Team
Kahir LaljiProvincial Director, Government Relations & Government Programs
Bobbi SymesDirector, Healthy Aging
Camille J. HannahAssistant Director, Healthy Aging
Dr. Beverley PitmanSenior Regional Community Developer (Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea to Sky)
Sarrah StoreyRegional Community Developer (Northern BC)
Lisa CyrRegional Community Developer (Interior BC)
Cheryl BaldwinRegional Community Developer (Central & Northern Vancouver Island)
Laura KadowakiProgram & Operations Coordinator
Jean RikhofProvincial Coordinator, Data & Reporting
Calum PetersenGranting Specialist
Esther MorenoCapacity Building Specialist
Amaanali FazalEmergency Response and Partnerships Coordinator
Shelby AlexanderMarketing & Communications Specialist
Healthy Aging – In The News
At Healthy Aging, we believe that sharing stories about the work that’s being done in community helps to strengthen connections.
For more information about any of these stories, please contact email@example.com.
Healthy Aging – Research & Reports
Healthy Aging relies on social research to ensure all our programs are meaningful and responsive to the needs of people as they age. We undertake our own research projects and work in collaboration with other respected researchers.
The Community Based Seniors’ Services (CBSS) sector is broad and diverse, and to ensure the work of Healthy Aging by United Way BC remains relevant and working toward the goals of the sector at large, a number of community accountability and task groups have been convened to guide and support the work on a variety of fronts. Collectively, these groups are working toward: supporting increased capacity and sustainability of the sector to address the growing needs of BC’s aging population; raising awareness of the breadth and value of the sector; fostering opportunities for communication, coordination, and collaboration; and developing a collective voice on healthy aging and the CBSS sector.
Provincial and Regional Consultations
Provincial Consultations serve as crucial opportunities for the exchange of innovative initiatives, strategies, and practices within the CBSS network. They play a vital role in collecting valuable information and perspectives to shape priorities and planning for programs, training, resource development, and other forms of support for the sector.
During the 2022-23 period, a significant online Provincial Consultation was organized, focusing on the topic of “Volunteer Recruitment and Retention in the CBSS Sector.” This session prominently featured presentations on innovative volunteer programs and practices. It actively involved CBSS staff and volunteers in various activities, such as sharing current effective strategies, tools, and resources utilized in volunteer recruitment and retention within the CBSS sector.
Participants engaged in meaningful discussions regarding the challenges and gaps that require attention. The consultation provided an explorative platform for generating ideas and opportunities to foster initiatives and activities aimed at bolstering and advancing volunteerism and volunteer management within CBSS organizations. Consultations aim to:
- share current resources, strategies, and programs that are making a difference in community for a particular area of priority
- identify challenges and gaps that need to be addressed
- explore opportunities for potential activities, resources, and collaboration to advance community action and effectiveness in those priority areas relevant to supporting older adults in community
Numerous regional and provincial consultations are planned for 2023-24.
Provincial Working Groups
CBSS Provincial Working Groups and Advisory Committees are actively involved in addressing priority areas identified by the CBSS Leadership Council. These priorities stem from the input gathered through Provincial Summits on Aging, Regional and Provincial Consultation feedback, and other community engagement activities. The Working Groups, which consist of representatives from the CBSS sector, are led by members of the Leadership Council who possess relevant interest and expertise in the respective topic areas.
Housing and Transportation
The Seniors Housing and Seniors Transportation Working Groups have shown significant dedication to researching and raising awareness about challenges and service gaps affecting seniors. Additionally, they have been proactive in sharing information on effective models and strategies through various means, such as webinars, presentations, Healthy Aging CORE, the biennial Summit on Aging, and Consultations.
The Nutritional Supports Working Group’s activities concluded in early 2023. However, the resources it has developed remain available on CORE, including valuable webinars, toolkits, case studies, and a literature review.
More recently, an Advisory Committee has been established to address CBSS Emergency Preparedness and Response. This Committee’s primary focus will be on enhancing existing partnerships and establishing a coordinated response among agencies and government entities. This collective effort aims to provide support to older British Columbians in the event of natural disasters and/or extreme climate emergencies.
Provincial Summit on Aging
United Way BC is thrilled to announce that the upcoming Summit on Aging will take place in the fall of 2024 at the Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport in Richmond, BC.
The biennial gathering aims to facilitate discussions and collaborations on current issues and innovations in healthy aging, not only in British Columbia but also beyond its borders.
The theme for the 2022 Summit was ‘Better Together,’ emphasizing the significance of collective efforts in establishing an integrated, older person-centered model of support in the province.
Over 540 CBSS sector organizations, along with older adults, family and friend caregivers, academia, and government representatives participated in the 2022 event, both in-person and online.
We look forward to continued progress and fruitful endeavors in healthy aging.
Watch a video highlight of the 2022 Provincial Summit on Aging below:
Read the 2022 Provincial Summit on Aging Summary Report below:
Healthy Aging Core BC
Healthy Aging CORE BC (Collaborative Online Resources and Education) is an online knowledge hub that facilitates connections among organizations supporting and promoting independent living for older British Columbians.
CORE’s primary focus lies in enhancing connections and capabilities, fostering coordination and collaboration, and bridging the gap between research and practice in the CBSS sector. This is achieved by granting convenient access to carefully curated evidence-based resources, training sessions, and other opportunities for knowledge sharing, including communities of practice and interactive group activities. CORE plays a crucial role in connecting, strengthening, and expanding the CBSS network, encompassing volunteers, staff, researchers, and allied agencies working towards supporting older adults to age in place. Through the cross-promotion of relevant organizations, events, news, and resources, and highlighting effective community programs, CORE promotes effective community programs and facilitates peer learning and partnerships.
Community agencies, partners and volunteers can access CORE BC and its wealth of resources, at bc.healthyagingcore.ca
Project Impact Healthy Aging
Healthy Aging also provides leadership training and capacity building within the community-based seniors’ service sector and the broader non-profit sector.
Due to BC’s aging population, there is a growing demand for programs and services to support older British Columbians. The collaborative efforts of United Way BC, the Province of BC, and the Community-Based Seniors’ Services (CBSS) sector aim to enhance the work being done in communities to keep seniors active, connected, and engaged.
United Way BC’s developmental evaluation course, Project Impact Healthy Aging, has played a crucial role in this work. This program takes teams of 2-5 people through a program where they assess the impact their offering is having on their senior participants. The 2023 Project Impact Healthy Aging Showcase in Vancouver unveiled the impactful findings from this year’s seven participating agencies, revealing the transformative effects of their programs on seniors’ lives. As one senior participant expressed, “This program saved my life, I would be lost without it.”
The evaluation process has armed these agencies with valuable data to improve their services and address seniors’ evolving needs, including digital literacy, social engagement, and advocating for affordable housing. This endeavor empowers each organization to create a better future for seniors in British Columbia. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the full 2023 impact story, entitled ‘Senior-serving agencies measure their impact through Project Impact’ here.
Watch a video highlight below:
CBSS Leadership Council
Executive Director, Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre
CBSS Leadership Council
Executive Director, Langley Senior Resources Society
Coordinator, Seniors Club, Specialized & Innovative Programs, MOSAIC
Executive Director, Nanaimo Family Life Association
Seniors Coordinator, Community Social Development, City of Richmond
Health Director, Prince George Native Friendship Centre
Director of Volunteer & Seniors’ Services, Beacon Community Service
Executive Director, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services
Regional Mentor, Vancouver Island Central and North, BC CRNs
Dr. Janice Murphy
Executive Director, Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative
Recreation, Health and Wellness Supervisor, City of Kamloops
Member, CBSS Leadership Council
Executive Director, Seniors Come Share Society
Community Development Coordinator, Golden, B.C.
President, Men’s Shed Association of B.C.; President of Coquitlam Men’s Shed Society
Project Manager, Age-Friendly Strategy for Seniors Project, City of Surrey
Coordinator, Prince Rupert Seniors Centre
Regional Mentor, Northern Interior Region
Executive Director, Seniors’ Outreach and Resource Centre
We’d love to hear from you!