Creating opportunities for seniors to connect


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This article was published 12/05/2021 (751 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

While this past year has been a very difficult one for everyone, it has been especially hard on seniors. Many seniors are feeling isolated, and keeping connected and engaged is a challenge.

Through initiatives such as the New Horizons for Seniors Program, we continue to provide support to seniors across Canada. The NHSP is a federal grants and contributions program whose goal is to support projects that empower seniors in their communities and to contribute to improving seniors’ health and well-being.

For example, last year NHSP funded the purchase of iPads at Meadowood Manor on St. Anne’s Road so that residents could stay in touch with family and friends. The supports they usually rely on — like family, friends and many community programs — can’t be there to help them the way they did before the pandemic. These iPads provided them the ability to connect, and their purchase was an example of how we adjusted the NHSP to respond to the new realities seniors are facing due to the pandemic.

Supplied photo Saint Boniface - Saint Vital MP Dan Vandal meets with seniors at the Southdale Community Centre in January 2020.

Isolation disproportionately impacts seniors. Seniors who are socially isolated make more visits to emergency rooms, use more medication, fall more often and enter residential care sooner. That is why it is so important, now more than ever, to promote and facilitate social participation and inclusion.

The NHSP supports projects that help foster those connections in a way that responds to the needs of seniors in every community. In addition to providing important social connections, it also creates opportunities where seniors can share knowledge, skills and experience to the benefit of others. These are valuable experiences for both seniors and for the next generations.
I am proud to announce that seven organisations in Saint Boniface – Saint Vital have received NHSP funding this year.

These include Meadowood Manor for new furniture for their chapel; the Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre for iPads and equipment for home exercise kits; the Accueil francophone for new iPads for virtual workshops; the Norwood Lawn Bowling Club for new equipment and benches; and the Winnipeg Senior Citizens Radio Club for new high-frequency radio technology.

Over the years, I have seen the many benefits of projects for seniors in places such as the Southdale Community Centre and the Prendergast Seniors Club.

Thank you for all the important work you all do to strengthen our communities. I look forward to hearing about the results of these new programs and to being able to visit and see how your work has enriched the lives of those you serve.

Dan Vandal

Dan Vandal
Saint Boniface-Saint Vital constituency report

Dan Vandal is the Liberal MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital.

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