PEI

P.E.I. program helping seniors with chores has big uptake

The Seniors Independence Initiative was started by the provincial government two years ago to offer low-income seniors help with chores around their homes.

Close to 800 Islanders took advantage of the program last year

There a number of chores covered through the program including shoveling. (Shane Ross/CBC)

A provincial program to help low-income seniors with chores around their house has seen an uptake over the last two years.

The Seniors Independence Initiative was started by the province two years ago.

Close to 800 Islanders took advantage of the program last year with a cost of $580,000 from the province, said Ernie Hudson, minister of social development and housing on P.E.I.

"That's a 235 increase over the previous year," Hudson said. "We want to be able to provide seniors with assistance that is going to allow them to stay in their residents, stay in their homes as long as possible."

Hudson said most of the seniors he has spoken with indicate, for the most part, they want to stay in their homes and not be put into a position where they have to leave them.

In order to qualify for the program net household income for a single person has to be less than $22,133 and $31,300 for a couple, says Ernie Hudson, minister of social development and housing. (Ken Linton/CBC)

There a number of chores covered through the program including snow shoveling, said Hudson.

"Whether… they have a long driveway that needs to be blown out or steps that need to be shoveled off, things along that line," he said.

In the spring and summer the program offers assistance for things such as grass cutting, light housekeeping chores and help with transportation Hudson said.

"Meals on Wheels, that is an eligible expense," Hudson said.

How to qualify

In order to qualify for the program net household income for a single person has to be less than $22,133 and $31,300 for a couple.

"You have to be 65 years of age or older. You do have to be living independently you know by yourself or with your partner or spouse and you have to have combined assets that are not greater than $100,000," Hudson said.

Hudson points out that asset total does not include a person's primary residence, land holdings or vehicles the applicant may own.

"There certainly are economic spinoffs for our business operators, for ones that do provide the snow blowing service, the grass cutting service, what have you," Hudson said.

However, he maintains the objective of the program is to offer services to seniors.

Those looking to apply can do so at Access P.E.I. locations or online at the P.E.I. government website.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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