(pixabay.com)

NEAT program aims to socialize isolated seniors

Saanich Parks and Recreation offers program to those in Sidney, Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich

Saanich Parks and Recreation aims to address older adult social isolation with a new program called Neighbours Engaging in Activities Together (NEAT).

This program, offered in partnership with Island Health, Oak Bay, Victoria and Sidney, is designed to build self-confidence, connection and provide a sense of belonging to participants. Many older adults live alone or face various barriers to participation. Barriers can include everything from financial, transportation, physical, emotional and social challenges. With Island Health recreation therapists and recreation staff, participants develop skills to overcome these perceived barriers, make sustainable social connections and are introduced to a variety of activities.

READ ALSO: Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

According to a 2012 Statistics Canada report, nearly one in four seniors reported they would like to participate more in social activities, while a 2008/09 Canadian Community Health Survey found that one-fifth of seniors felt left out, isolated from others, or lacked companionship.

The NEAT program combats that isolation. It is offered at apartment buildings or local meeting spaces where people already feel comfortable. Participants get to know each other in a relaxed space with fun ice breakers and exercises. They are introduced to resources and activities in their neighbourhood and after two weeks of leisure education the participants choose activities they would like to experience.

These activities can be anything from art to sports and everything in between. Each of the following weeks include an activity of the groups’ choice. They will be responsible for their attendance and finding their own transportation but will feel supported by the group. Emerging leaders are encouraged to take on an “ambassador” role and help make the group sustainable after the program ends.

READ ALSO: New ElderDog program helps seniors keep dogs at home

Applications are now being accepted for the next set of programs. Contact Julie Wallace, Saanich Parks & Recreation, Community Services, at 250-475-5408 or Julie.wallace@saanich.ca for more information.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Saanich Police arrest driver after serious hit and run

Motorists advised to avoid area of McKenzie Avenue and Shelbourne Street

Saanich councillor wants to limit length of council meetings

Coun. Judy Brownoff says long meetings create perception of ineffectiveness

Location of Oak Bay’s Sea Lore still up in the air

Council declines to install Sea Lore along Beach Drive waterfront

BC Aviation Museum invites public to tour the facilities

Museum offering exhibits, re-enactors and kids activities July 27

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

June sees drop in home sales, prices for real estate across B.C.: report

Sales dropped by 11.8%, while prices fell by 4%

Video captures driver narrowly avoiding hitting Granfondo cyclists in Okanagan

“I’m just glad that everything aligned enough and no one got hurt,” said Shaun Siebert

Canadian officials flagged 900 food items from China with ‘problems’ over 2 years

The scrutiny of agricultural goods has been central to a diplomatic dispute between Canada and China

Gasoline companies to speak at public inquiry into B.C. pump prices

Premier John Horgan ordered the inquiry in May when prices at the pump reached $1.70 a litre

B.C. woman jailed for child pornography after sharing photos of grandchildren online

Grandma sentenced to 14 months behind bars for concerning and explicit online chats with stranger

Loved ones of Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh mourn after terrorist attack

She moved back to Somalia last year in an effort to tell positive stories of her home country

Most Read