Senior’s gym in the works – Campbell’s Bay receives $25K to address COVID isolation

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Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – A new project to help seniors during the COVID pandemic is currently in the works in Campbell’s Bay using $25,000 the municipality received from the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP).
“As seniors ensure their safety by staying home during the pandemic, it’s critical to provide additional support and reduce seniors’ social isolation, which can take a toll on their mental health and well-being,” said Pontiac MP Will Amos, who announced the funding news on September 24.
The Municipality of Campbell’s Bay will use the grant to improve services at its RA Hall. The funds will help purchase light and gentle exercise equipment and improve accessibility for seniors while ensuring physical distancing and other health directives are followed.
According to Sarah Bertrand, municipal director general, the equipment can be used both indoors and outdoors and the goal is to encourage physical activities to prevent seniors’ social-isolation. “It’s still in the planning stages. Specific project details are yet to be finalized and will be available once [we] receive feedback from local seniors. A public consultation or questionnaire (depending on public health restrictions) will be available to gather feedback,” she explained,
noting the project will be completed by March 2021.
In response to COVID-19, an additional $20M was provided to the NHSP in May to help reduce seniors’ isolation, improve their quality of life and maintain a social support network during the pandemic. Three Pontiac federal riding projects received a total of $65,000, including Campbell’s Bay. The other projects were in Lac-Sainte-Marie and Blue Sea.
Campbell’s Bay also received $9,739 through the regular NHSP stream to improve services to seniors at the RA Hall by installing an automatic door system and $10,500 through the province’s Municipalité Amie des Aînés program to update its Seniors Action Plan and Policy that expired in 2015.
“We cannot allow physical distancing to become social distancing. With this additional funding, we are helping to ensure seniors get support and stay connected during the pandemic,” said Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors.
The 2020–21 NHSP community-based call for proposals is open until October 20, 2020.