Coordinator Laura Van Dyk is leading the Neighbours Engaging in Activities Together (NEAT) program coming to Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

NEAT program needs older adults in Oak Bay

12-week program builds neighbourhood connections

A popular program designed to create social connections and promote physical activity is coming to Oak Bay.

Laura Van Dyk works for Saanich and is bringing Island Health’s 12-week Neighbours Engaging in Activities Together (NEAT) program to Oak Bay starting Sept. 20.

The free, social program offers older adults a chance to try new activities and meet new friends, Van Dyk said.

Classes are led by recreation therapists who help participants with self-management challenges and motivation.

“Participants actually decide which activities they would like to do,” Van Dyk said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Older adults are at higher risk of becoming isolated and there is a lot of new research that shows the benefits of social connection and physical activity and the importance of staying engaged, Van Dyk added.

“However, people who have never been engaged in community recreation may find the thought daunting and completely unappealing.”

Thus Island Health launched the NEAT program to connect with older adults who want to be involved but don’t know where to start. Others are slowly growing more isolated because of barriers such as fixed income.

The activities range from board games and water colour painting to memoir writing or chair yoga.

“As we age some life experiences get in the way and create challenges to staying socially connected,” Van Dyk said. “If mobility becomes challenging, financial resources become limited or you lose a loved one, it can leave you feeling lethargic, depressed and not motivated to leave the house.”

The program starts Sept. 20 in Oak Bay. It also runs in Saanich, Victoria and Sidney, all through partnerships between municipal parks and recreation staff and Island Health.

For more information contact laura.vandyk@saanich.ca.  

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep Saanich drainage pipe

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Police respond to successful Facebook scam on Oak Bay resident

Petty thievery in King George Terrace where plants, gargoyle are missing

Habitat for Humanity launches Victoria family challenge fundraising event

The Road To Home fundraiser set to be an activity-filled day

UPDATE: Incident near Mount Douglas Park ‘strictly medical,’ Saanich police say

Intoxicated person taken into police custody, brought to hospital

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read