VICTORIA, B.C- Adults and seniors who live with cognitive and physical challenges on Vancouver Island are getting more support from the province.

The British Columbian government has announced that 7,400 new spaces for adult day programs will be coming to Vancouver Island, part of an investment of $75 million over the next three years to expand respite care and adult day programs.

A request for proposal (RFP) has now been issued for the services.

Mt. Waddington, Campbell River, and the Comox Valley have been identified as priority areas for more spaces, as well as the Saanich Peninsula and the Greater Victoria Area.

Mount Waddington will be getting 480 new spaces, Campbell River will get 500, and the Comox Valley will receive 1000.

“More adult day spaces on Vancouver Island is part of the work we are doing to support seniors and adults with disabilities to continue living at home, which is what most people want,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in a government news release.

“The creation of these spaces also supports family and friend caregivers to take time for themselves to support their own health and well-being.”

Adult day programs are meant to combat isolation and loneliness by supporting people to maintain community connections and socialize with their peers.

“Seniors and adults living with cognitive and physical challenges can receive health-care services like nursing and rehabilitation activities, nutrition and foot care, and participate in social programs like discussion groups and card games,” read the release.

“Adult day programs also support family and friend caregivers through support groups, information and education programs, and respite services to give caregivers a break from caregiving responsibilities. Respite services give caregivers a chance to run errands, get caught up on chores or simply take some time to relax.”

Island Health is expecting to have more than 68,000 spaces by 2019.

People interested in receiving caregiver respite or adult day program services, or know of someone who might be in need of these services, can contact the home and community care office in their health authority or have a health-care professional make a referral on their behalf.