Less help for lawn care a problem for Shelburne county seniors

May 19, 2015

(Shelburne, NS) NDP MLA Sterling Belliveau says the McNeil government’s decision to cut funding that helped seniors with lawn care is causing extra stress for seniors in Shelburne County.

“Last summer I was able to get help with my lawn care but this year that’s changed. Now I’ll have to come up with the money on my own,” says Vivian R. Williams, a resident of Shelburne.

Last year Williams, who has only one income to operate her household, benefited from the Lend a Hand program offered by the Shelburne Association Supporting Inclusion (SASI). SASI received funding from the Nova Scotia Department of Health Continuing Care division. In April, SASI was informed that funding for the Lend a Hand program was being cancelled.

Holly Perry, Vocational Coordinator with SASI, says they have been able to access funds through another government grant which will allow them to continue mowing some lawns this summer but not all the lawns they helped care for last year.

“Unfortunately the funding we lost for the Lend a Hand program means there are some seniors we can’t provide services for this summer,” said Perry. “We’re doing our best to work with those seniors, like Vivian, to help them find solutions.”

Belliveau says the McNeil government should have taken more steps to ensure seniors like Williams wouldn’t suddenly be without services.

“This type of funding supports seniors who are trying to stay at home. It’s very unfortunate the McNeil government isn’t supporting them,” says Belliveau.