Tofino Gets Grant to Support Seniors

Press Release

August 25, 2020

Tofino Receives Grant to Support Seniors During COVID-19 Pandemic

TOFINO B.C. – The District of Tofino has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. Beginning in September, the District is excited to partner with Pacific Rim Hospice Society to deliver programming for  aging populations under the program banner W.A.V.E.S., which stands for “Wellness Activities for Valued and Extraordinary Seniors”.

The activities and programs made possible by the Government of Canada’s New Horizon’s grant program include virtual recreation programs, physically distanced check-ins, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) package deliveries, health and wellness information sessions, and technology loans and training.

Seniors are a vibrant and valued part of the West Coast, and Tofino boasts over 450 community members aged 55 and better. Together with Pacific Rim Hospice Society, the W.A.V.E.S. program will work to identify seniors who may need extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have been imposed. Programming will begin next month and will run until mid-2021.

Quote from Tarni Jacobsen, Executive Director, Pacific Rim Hospice Society:

“The Pacific Rim Hospice Society is pleased to continue its partnership with the District of Tofino in providing responsive programs and services for older adults in Tofino and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. Social isolation has devastating impacts and participation in social and wellness activities may help decrease feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety – all common feelings during these uncertain and challenging times.”

Quote from District of Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne:

“The District of Tofino’s COVID-19 Recovery Action Plan identifies recreational and social programming as a key priority for our community’s recovery, with particular focus on programs for seniors. We all understand that older community members are generally at higher risk for COVID-19, but as we take precautions to maintain physical distance, it’s critical that we also find new ways to support social connectedness among seniors and their networks. It’s been an unpredictable and difficult time for so many, so this funding arrives at just the right time so that, together with the Pacific Rim Hospice Society, we can provide Tofino’s seniors with new ways of engaging with each other, friends and family, and improve their access to much-needed services.”

Quote from Pam Zwicker, Recreation Programmer II, District of Tofino:

“We know that social connectedness is a critical factor for well-being and resiliency at any age, but it’s particularly important for those in our small, remote community who may  experience challenges that are somewhat unique to our region. Accessing services and supports, including health and wellness programs, specialized medical care and technology are just a few things that are more difficult for west coast seniors, due in part to geography and availability of these services locally.

We look forward to continuing our support through programs and services that help to decrease the impact of COVID-19 on seniors, particularly with social isolation during a time of physical distancing. Supporting the ability of seniors to stay connected with their community and their family by using technology and providing training and devices that allow them to do so will be a key piece of this program. Our partnership with Pacific Rim Hospice Society enables us to connect with and deliver programs for community members in a meaningful and caring way.”

New Horizons for Seniors:

Pam Zwicker, Recreation Programmer II
250-725-3229 ext. 705
[email protected]


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