This page contains sections about seniors health and safety.
- Health and Safety for Seniors
- Driving and Transportation
- Fall Prevention
- Patient Resources
- Recreation and Community Services
1. Health and Safety for Seniors
Falls are the main reason why older adults lose their independence. Although the risk factors increase with age, falls are not an inevitable part of aging.
Read this article on Preventing Falls in Seniors with Good Nutrition.
By learning how to take your medications safely, you can make sure they work properly and avoid negative interactions.
Health Canada is responsible for ensuring access to safe and effective drugs and health products. See: Health Canada Drug and Health Products website.
Flu vaccines are provided at a wide variety of locations across the province, including public health clinics, physician’s offices, and pharmacies.
Lifeline provides you and your loved ones with the reassurance that help is only a push of a button away. There is a cost for activation and monitoring. Learn more about this personal emergency response service.
First Nations Elders
The BC Elders' Guide acknowledges and respects the traditional ways of Elders, and the immense cultural value they provide.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The BC Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association offers services for people experiencing depression or other mental health conditions. For information on local branches and programs, please visit the CMHA BC website.
In South Island, Capital Mental Health Association offers a variety of programs and opportunities for adults and seniors experiencing a mental illness designed to promote recovery and well-being.
Recreation Centres and Community Resource Associations
Looking for community programs in your area? A list of recreation and community centres provides resources that support independence and active living.
2. Driving and Transportation
Getting around in your community is important for maintaining your independence.
The following resources for seniors are available to help seniors stay mobile in the community.
BCAA Older Drivers (BC-wide)
Safe driving is important for everyone. But as we age, experience can’t always make up for the physical changes age brings. See: BCAA Older Drivers
Victoria Regional Transit Accessible Services (Greater Victoria)
These pages are to help customers, caregivers and family members become familiar with accessible transit services. In addition, click "Contact Us" on the menu then scroll down for a free community travel training program. Trainers come to clients' homes to teach them about using the bus system.
BC Transit (BC-wide)
Find out about fares, bus schedules, maps, and accessible BC Transit services in your area.
Taxi Saver Program (Greater Victoria)
The Taxi Saver Program provides a 50% subsidy towards the cost of taxi rides. You will need to have a handyPASS to use this program.
Disability Resource Centre - parking permits (Island-wide)
Parking permits are for persons with disabilities who are unable to walk more than 100 metres safely. You need to send in an application form and pay a processing fee.
3. Fall Prevention
Falls are the leading cause of all injuries among B.C. seniors and are the main reason why older adults lose their independence. Every 10 minutes a senior is hospitalized for a fall.
Are you at risk?
Falls usually occur due to a loss of balance and an inability to recover balance. Learn about what contributes to falls. The provincial government also has an online questionnaire you can use to assess your risk.
Reducing the risk
The following activities can help prevent a fall:
- increase physical activity and muscle strength
- improve your mobility and balance
- follow the Canadian guidelines for calcium and vitamin D
- have regular vision check-ups and correct vision problems
- review all medications with a doctor or pharmacist
- reduce trip and slip hazards in the home or outdoors
- Finding Balance BC has additional resources, videos and tips to help prevent falls
4. Patient Resources
BC Self-Management Programs
BC Self-Management programs are for individuals living with a chronic condition and their families. The learning happens in a group format, by trained peer leaders, for six weeks, and are provided for free in communities throughout BC. Participants learn strategies to better manage living with a chronic condition and live a healthy life.
Patient Voices Network
The Patient Voices Network is a community of BC patients, families, caregivers and others who wish to use their experiences to positively influence the healthcare system – provide resources, webinars, links and more.
The HealthLink BC website offers medically-approved information on health topics, symptoms, medications, and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You may also call 8-1-1 from anywhere in British Columbia to speak with a nurse any time of the day or night. On weekdays, you can speak to a dietitian and at night they have pharmacists available to answer your medication questions.
Yakimovich Wellness Centre
The Yakimovich Wellness Centre offers a variety of health education programs open to adults who want to learn about their health and find community resources focusing on healthy aging.
Alzheimer Society of BC
The Alzheimer Society of BC website lists programs, services, and events listed in your area.
The Arthritis Society
The Arthritis Society provides ambulatory services and programs, inpatient rehabilitation services and educational resources.
BC Lung Association
The BC Lung Association website provides information on lung diseases, smoking cessation programs, air quality, and various other education and support groups.
Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association helps people with diabetes live healthy lives while working to find a cure. The Victoria Medical Supply Store offers supplies needed to manage living well with diabetes.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC/Yukon
The Heart and Stroke Foundation website has a menu of options from health information, funded research, news, and health e-tools (which will help you conduct a self-assessment of your risk factors).
BC Cancer Agency
The BC Cancer Agency provides health information and lists resources for patients and the public.
Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre
The Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson's Centre is a vibrant and welcoming non-profit society whose purpose is to strengthen the abilities of their clients, families and communities to manage their physical, psychological and social effects of Parkinson's and epilepsy.
Seniors' Health Promotion Directorate
The Seniors' Health Promotion Directorate provides information about government programs and services for older adults. The goal is to provide the residents of BC with one place to go to find all the information they need to plan for and live a healthy, active aging lifestyle. The website includes sections on health care, finances, benefits, housing, transportation, and more.
BC Housing – Seniors
Council of Senior Citizens Organization of BC (COSCO)
COSCO provides free health promotion workshops, as well as links, events and contact information.
CNIB advocates for blind or partially sighted Canadians, provides personalized rehabilitation support, and works with communities to create a barrier-free society.
Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre
The Island Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre offers counseling and support services to people dealing with a hearing loss.
5. Recreation and Community Services
The following links for seniors can connect you with recreation centres, seniors centres and community associations across the Island.
ALCOA strives to promote a society where all older Canadians are leading active lifestyles that contribute to their overall well-being.
British Columbia's primary physical activity counseling service & your resource for practical & trusted physical activity & healthy living information.
Comox Valley - Campbell River
Includes Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, Denman and Hornby Islands, Campbell River, Quadra and Cortes Islands, Gold River, Tahsis and Sayward.
Comox Valley Senior Peer Counseling - Seniors Supporting Seniors
Campbell River Senior Peer Counseling Society
Oceanside - Port Alberni - Westcoast
Includes Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose, Bowser, Coombs and Errington, Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino
Qualicum Beach Seniors Activity Center Association
Drop-in hours or by appointment in Ucluelet or Tofino, surrounding communities by appointment.
Nanaimo and Area
Includes Nanaimo, Lantzville, Gabriola Island, and Cedar
A non-profit outreach organization which extends friendship, human contact and assistance to seniors living independently.
Includes Duncan, North Cowichan, Mill Bay, Chemainus, Lake Cowichan, Ladysmith, and Thetis and Kuper Islands
Cowichan Valley Seniors Organization
Crofton Seniors Centre
Chemainus Seniors Drop-in Centre Society
Greater Victoria - Gulf Islands
Includes the Saanich Peninsula, Sooke, Port Renfrew, Greater Victoria, and the Southern Gulf Islands
Recreation centres have programs across the age spectrum and some subsidized programs.
Learn more about the LIFE (Leisure Involvement for Everyone) program.
Provides information and support to seniors in Greater Victoria. Programs offered are Seniors’ Link, Seniors’ Services Directory, Senior Peer Counselors, Seniors in Stitches, and Return to Health.
Offers a variety of social, fitness and support programs for Seniors at their Victoria and Saanich locations.