Alberta’s government is investing $3.5 million into transportation programs for seniors throughout the province.
Rural communities with a high percentage of low-income seniors will be prioritized through the Healthy Aging Alberta program, states a release from the Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services.
The three-year project is supporting up to 20 seniors’ transport programs. Details on how this funding will be distributed will be shared directly with the eligible municipalities.
Whether for a doctor visit, picking up a prescription or going grocery shopping, transportation is a necessity, especially for seniors who have mobility challenges. Seniors who can’t access these critical supports can end up with more serious health and mental health issues.
Jeremy Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, said it’s, therefore, important that seniors get support to live independently in their communities. This funding “strengths transportation in all areas of the province. This means easier access to health care, grocery stores, socialization and so much more.”
Healthy Aging Alberta is an initiative administered by United Way that focuses on working with community-based organizations. It partners with volunteer-based drivers and other assisted transportation programs in communities across the province.
Karen Young, president and CEO, United Way of Calgary and area, said 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.”
Alberta’s seniors population is projected to grow from 735,000. as of Dec. 31, 2022, to more than one million by 2035 — at which point more than 50 per cent of seniors will be over age 75.