The SafetyAid home safety and crime prevention initiative for seniors is expanding to the northwest and Interlake areas of Manitoba, Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross, minister responsible for seniors, announced today.
“I am pleased to see this successful program expand to reach more seniors and focus on crime prevention and ways to prevent falls,” said Irvin-Ross. “Manitoba is committed to improving the health, independence and well-being of older Manitobans by sharing useful information and supporting programs.”
Irvin-Ross announced the program will expand to the communities of Flin Flon, The Pas and Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northwest Manitoba, as well as the communities of Arborg, Ashern, Fisher River, Gimli, Peguis, Selkirk and Stonewall in the Interlake region.
Through SafetyAid, experienced tradespeople conduct home-safety audits in the homes of low-income seniors and install safety devices including peepholes and deadbolt locks, Attorney General Dave Chomiak explained. Seniors who have been victims of break-ins are the first priority, but other Manitoba seniors 65 and over in areas served by the program can also ask for a home-safety audit.
“By taking advantage of the safety audits and advice offered through the program, seniors will make their homes safer and more secure,” Chomiak said. “That extra degree of security will help seniors remain independent and continue to live in their own homes.”
“Recently, a client stated how happy she was to have received the SafetyAid service and wanted to give a big bouquet to the program and the good products she received. She thanked Age & Opportunity for offering the program and doing such a great job,” said Age & Opportunity community services manager Stacey Miller.
This year, $215,000 in provincial funding will be provided to Age & Opportunity to operate the SafetyAid program and implement this expansion. The SafetyAid program consists of a SafetyAid team and SafetyAid forgivable loans of up to $3,500 through the Home Adaptation for Seniors Independence Program. To date, the province has invested $706,000 in the initiative.
To date, the program has conducted 3,384 home safety audits. Of those homes, 3,226 have had safety devices installed. There have been 2,825 falls-prevention audits and 2,797 homes were provided with falls-prevention supplies. In addition, there have been 3,894 requests for information and 319 presentations.
The Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat’s Age-Friendly Strategy supports seniors in leading active, socially engaged, and independent lives that contribute to healthy aging. The SafetyAid program contributes to making communities age friendly as it ensures that seniors are safe in their homes and supports seniors in making healthy choices, remaining active and socially connected, Irvin-Ross said.
For more information about SafetyAid, call Age & Opportunity at 204-956-6440.