Municipal Programs for Seniors
Many local governments have programs for seniors.
The City of Vancouver has the following programs and supports.
Call 311/TTY711 – to access Vancouver city programs.
Programs & Supports for Seniors
The City of Vancouver has a webpage on services for seniors in the city: Programs & Supports for Seniors.
Vancouver supports a number of seniors’ centres and groups, including 411 Seniors Centre;West End Seniors Network;South Granville Seniors Centre; and, SUCCESS Seniors Quality of Life.
These centres provide services such as:
- Peer counseling
- English, Chinese, and Aboriginal speaking drop in programs
- Outreach for isolated or home-bound seniors
- Falls prevention programs
Find a seniors’ centre near you
Seniors’ centers and groups are neighbourhood based, and located across the city.
Outreach for seniors
If you are over the age of 55 – and have barriers to leaving your home – you qualify for help in your home from a 411 Seniors’ Center outreach counselor. An outreach counselor can help you apply for important programs, such as:
- Seniors’ benefits (Canada Pension, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Disability pension)
- Housing (shelter referrals, BC Housing programs, SAFER)
- Referrals for legal information
- Commission of Affidavits for services and filling out applications
Finally, a counselor can refer you to appropriate community services, such as advocacy groups who help with issues like poverty, elder abuse, and legal services.
About the counselors
The 411 Seniors’ Outreach Counselors are volunteers who have been interviewed and carefully screened, and have had extensive training. The counselors speak many languages, are non-judgmental, and open to differences and diversity. They treat all requests with confidentiality.
How to get help
Anyone can ask for help from a counselor: you; a family member or friend; or,your healthcare professional (provided they have your consent). There is no cost for this service.
Hoarding Action Response Team (“HART”)
The City of Vancouver has worked with Vancouver Coastal Health, the Fire Department and the Department of Pscychology at UBC to develop the Hoarding Action Response Team. They provide a coordinated community response to those impacted by compulsive hoarding, to ensure safety, and to ensure people with hoarding issues receive appropriate health care support quickly. They encourage you to call 311 if you see:
- Debris, personal items or boxes blocking:
- Access to parts of the home, windows or doors
- Stoves and cooking appliances
- Access to sinks, bathing facilities or toilets
- The yard filled with items other than gardening supplies or yard furniture
- The occupant has mobility challenges impacted by the collection of debris inside their home
For more information on hoarding visit our webpage: Compulsive Hoarding
The Vancouver Rent Bank provides one-time interest free loans to people at risk of eviction or essential utility disconnection due to a temporary shortage funds. As well we they can provide a security deposit if current housing is deemed unsafe or unsustainable. They also provide advocacy and referral services, and tools to help people better manage their limited financial resources. Loans can be used for:
- Rental arrears/past due rent
- Utility Arrears
- Security Deposits and/or First month’s rent
The Vancouver Rent Bank is run by the Network of Inner City Community Services.
Phone – 604-566-9685 Website: Rent Bank
Better at Home
Better at Home is a program that helps seniors with simple day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes and remain connected to their communities. The Government of British Columbia funds the program, United Way of the Lower Mainland manages it, and local non-profit organizations provide the services. There are presently 67 Better at Home programs across the province.
Better at Home services vary from community to community. They are designed to complement existing services and are based on the unique needs of local seniors. Examples include:
- Friendly visiting
- Light yard work
- Minor home repairs
- Light housekeeping
- Grocery shopping
- Snow shoveling