Better at Home for B.C. Seniors and Elders

Seniors that need a hand with the tasks of day-to-day life and wish to remain connected to their community now have that option. Aging in place in more than sixty BC communities is made possible with help from Better at Home.

What is Better at Home?

Better at Home is a support program funded by the BC Government and managed by the United Way of BCs Lower Mainland. By providing services including light housekeeping, transportation to appointments and minor home repairs, Better at home makes it possible for seniors to age in place, and that means not losing touch with the community they know.     

Senior stats in BCs Lower Mainland

As the average age of Canada’s population rises, it’s more important now than ever before, that housing options are available to seniors.

In 2010 there were approximately 678,000 seniors in the province of BC. As of 2011, BC’s lower mainland had just over 312,000 senior residents, which is a nearly 100 percent increase over the previous two decades (since 1991). The highest concentration of adults aged 65 and up are in Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby; with statistics such as these, Better at Home is a welcome support service.

Where is Better at Home available?

Provincial demographics are evaluated on an ongoing basis. Through the Community Action for Seniors Independence (CASI) Initiative the United Way partnered with the BC Government is able to gather data and feedback from seniors about their needs within the home and community. This valuable information is used to support the rolling out of Better at Home in communities where services are needed most.

In its first year Better at Home programs were well received and the number of participants in the program increased steadily. In 2013, services provided jumped by nearly 100% during the course of the year. The good news for BC seniors wishing to age at home is that Better at Home is expected to be available province-wide in the very near future.

On the Better at Home website, locate their organization directory to find a list of communities and contact information. 

What services are available through Better at Home?

Services available through Better at Home help to improve the quality of life for seniors. The range of available services varies from one community to another depending upon the needs of seniors in the area.

Examples of services provided include light yard work, light housekeeping and even minor home repairs. For seniors who need a hand with grocery shopping, or transportation to and from medical appointments, help is on the way! In the winter, seniors sometimes need a hand with snow shoveling, and for those that find it tough to get out, friendly visiting is a welcome option provided by the caring individuals working with Better at Home.

Services are provided to eligible seniors by local non-profit organizations and delivered by both paid staff members as well as volunteers. To learn about eligibility requirements and apply for services provided, visit the ‘Better at Home’ website.

What do Better at Home services cost? 

The United Way, through funding from the Government of BC provides services to area seniors. Fund raising efforts, donations from various businesses and organizations, and volunteer participation, all allow Better at Home to provide programs and services to local seniors. Those who receive services pay a fee for certain ones and some may be provided at no charge.   

The Better at Home program is making it possible for seniors who may have been otherwise forced to consider relocating, live independently in their homes.

 

Written by Alice Lucette

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