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New Brunswick commits to initiative to help keep seniors at home longer

WATCH ABOVE: A new program designed to help seniors stay at home and remain independent has been announced by the New Brunswick government.

A new program designed to help seniors stay at home and remain independent has been announced by the New Brunswick government.

The Seniors Health, Well-Being and Home Safety Review will help connect seniors with local services and help them identify any safety issues present in their homes.

READ MORE: N.B. organization working for people with limited mobility struggles to keep up with demand

“Seniors want to remain independent, healthy and involved in their communities. The Seniors Health, Well-Being and Home Safety Review will help them do so,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris in a release.

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The government is spending more than $500,000 over the next year on the initiative.

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The program involves a consultation between the senior and a trained and approved caregiver, and takes about 90 minutes.

“Everything from nutrition, transportation, exercise, [is covered],” said Tina Learmonth, the Saint John-area director for Bayshore Home Health. “Lots of information about falls awareness [too].”

Through the review, seniors will be able to find out about community programs that can help them daily. It is a voluntary process and people aged 65 and over can have a relative or friend present during a home visit.

For Saint John senior Monique and her husband Gerry, who live at the Father Eugene O’Leary Seniors Complex, knowing additional help might be available is comforting.

“It will help me to feel more secure that I can help my husband, that I know I have help,” Monique said.

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Monique, who asked that her last name not be used, said her husband is currently in hospital, but will be coming home soon.

Alongside a personalized action plan that will be created with the person’s input, seniors can also apply for $1,500 in assistance for minor in-home repairs to improve their mobility or independence.

READ MORE: New Brunswick doctor calls for mandatory driver testing for seniors

The program will begin on June 12 in Saint John and Restigouche and will eventually expand to Fredericton and Miramichi in September, followed by Moncton and Chaleur in December. The Edmundston and Acadian Peninsula regions will see the program in their area in March 2018.

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— With files from Andrew Cromwell, Global News

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