FREDERICTON (GNB) – A program aimed at helping seniors remain independent longer has been expanded to the Fredericton region.

The Seniors Health, Well-Being and Home Safety Review, which started in the Saint John and Restigouche regions in June, is now available in the Fredericton region.

“We are really excited about the response so far to the health and home safety reviews,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris. “I encourage seniors to take advantage of this important tool. Seniors want to remain independent, healthy and involved in their communities and this program will help them to do so.”

More than 500 seniors have signed up for the review.

The program, which connects seniors to services and facilities in their area, will be rolled out to all regions of New Brunswick in the coming months.

The review takes about 90 minutes and is conducted by a qualified and trained individual who has met the Department of Social Development’s strict criteria.

During the review, seniors will learn about programs in their community which can help them in their daily lives. The program is voluntary. Interested seniors, who are 65 years and over, may decide to have a relative or friend present during the home visit.

All information gathered through the review is confidential. Participating seniors will help create a personalized action plan that will provide suggestions for maintaining a healthy, active and independent lifestyle. As well, eligible seniors may apply for $1,500 in assistance to do minor in-home repairs that will improve their mobility or independence.

The Saint John and Restigouche regions started with the program on June 12. Fredericton and Miramichi regions are starting this week; Moncton and Chaleur regions will roll out in December; and Edmundston and the Acadian Peninsula regions will start the program in March 2018.

More information about programs for seniors is available online or by calling 1-855-550-0552 to arrange for a review.

Fostering healthy aging and support for seniors is one of the seven priority areas outlined in the New Brunswick Family Plan framework, which also focuses government action on: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty and providing support for persons living with a disability.