Making Bowen More Age-Friendly

age friendly grant award

Mayor Jack Adelaar, MLA Joan McIntyre, minister for the State of Seniors Ralph Sultan, Colleen O’Neil of the Caring Circle and Shelley Shannon of the Bowen Island Community Recreation hold up the cheque for the age-friendly community grant.
Joanne Raymont

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent

Published: January 17, 2013 8:00 PM

A grant of $19,993 has been awarded to the Bowen Island Municipality with the aim to help create programs or tools that address the needs of older residents. At Seniors Keeping Young (SKY) last Monday, January 14, the discussion revolved around the concerns of senior Bowen residents. In attendance were the minister of the State for Seniors Ralph Sultan and West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Joan McIntyre who dropped by at Bowen Court to share the news about the grant and hear from the 25 islanders who had gathered.

“Bowen Island was one of 27 winners of the grant for age-friendly communities,” Sultan said. “Only a third of all applicants received the award and it aims to make Bowen Island an even more age-friendly place to live.” Sultan explained that the grant covers a sum of just $7 shy of $20,000 and the announcement was greeted with applause.
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Creating a Safety Net for Health Challenges


Diane Marshall

By Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: December 14, 2012 10:00 AM

Many island residents choose to live on Bowen because they value the quality of life. But in times of accidents or failing health, they may re-evaluate their choice. Diane Marshall believes that we need to build a safety net, especially for the times when our health is compromised, and that is why she has mobilized a group of people who are passionate about health services. Together, they founded the Caring Circle.

“The health safety net is simply not there on Bowen,” Marshall said. “We based that assumption on the Seniors’ Needs Assessment that was done by Abbeyfield in 2007 and identified that 39 people left Bowen over the course of four years because they couldn’t get the health care they needed.” And while Marshall doesn’t know how many of those seniors would have chosen to stay, she believes that a better system and more support could give them the option.

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Health Survey Will Inform Priorities and Resource Allocation

VCH LogoBy Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: December 07, 2012 9:00 AM

Until Sunday, December 16, Bowen residents have a chance to participate in a survey that gauges the health and well-being of North Shore residents. While the survey does not exclusively focus on islanders, Dr. Jat Sandhu, regional director of the Public Health Surveillance Unit, believes it is important to get their input. “I can’t emphasize enough that we want to hear local-level voices. The data will give us valuable tools for engaging local governments and organizations.”

The survey can be completed online at and aims to reach residents in the city and district of North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Lions Bay and Bowen Island to learn about their community involvement, household and neighbourhood characteristics that may influence individual health and well-being. The survey is conducted by Vancouver Coastal Health and Dr. Sandhu explained that while provincial and national surveys provide health statistics on a larger geographical level, the North Shore Wellness Survey could help to attain more detailed information that could be used to “plug gaps” in local health and wellness services.

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Caring Circle Lends a Hand with Research

hands holdingBy Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: October 19, 2012 02:00 PM
What do you do when you or a family member gets ill and needs to be cared for in a home on Bowen? In the case of an accident or emergency, there might not be a lot of time to do the research and set up a support system that is needed. Here is where the Caring Circle comes in.

Colleen O’Neil and Diane Marshall have put their heads together and met with a number of community members to compile an impressive list of resources that will make it easier for island residents to cope with a medical emergency.
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