Nova Scotia seniors are getting more help in staying safe, healthy and becoming more involved in their communities. Minister of Seniors Denise Peterson-Rafuse announced today, Jan. 24, about $397,000 for 71 community initiatives from the Age-Friendly Communities Program, the Positive Aging Fund, and the Senior Safety Grants. “We’re reaching seniors where they live and supporting activities that encourage positive aging and continued community involvement,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “This investment is helping to make life better for our seniors and their families.” The programs and activities, which include social networking opportunities, exercise and fitness, healthy eating programs and financial abuse workshops, are delivered by non-profit organizations, municipalities and local police. “The Bay Shore Community Club will use this funding to host exercise classes and to provide a relief program to caregivers in the community,” says club secretary Dorothy Hadley of Pembroke, Yarmouth County. The Age-Friendly Communities Program improves physical and social environments that allow people to fully participate in their communities and remain in them. This year, for the first time, many municipal partners will use their Age-Friendly Communities funding to apply age-friendly thinking to their long term plans. “This partnership will help us ensure that the needs of seniors in our own community are heard, considered and included as part of our municipal planning.” said Allen Webber, Warden for the Municipality of Chester. “Achieving a safe and welcoming age-friendly community will benefit our district and be an investment in our future.” The Positive Aging Fund helps non-profit community organizations create projects that advance the health, well-being and community participation of seniors and an aging population. Successful applicants can receive up to $10,000 for projects through the Fund. Seniors at risk of financial, emotional, physical, and other forms of elder abuse will be safer and more informed thanks to Senior Safety Grants of up to $20,000 per year for local seniors safety programs. These grants are co-funded with the Department of Justice. The Department of Seniors received nearly 120 applications for funding under the 2010-2011 grant programs. There will be another opportunity to apply in the spring. More information on the program and full lists of grant recipients is available at www.gov.ns.ca/seniors.