Friendly faces and listening ears are wanted in the Comox Valley to spend time with and record the experiences of seniors living in long-term care.
The Office of the Seniors Advocate, with help from volunteers across the province, is in the process of surveying all residents in publicly subsidized long-term care homes in B.C. In the Comox Valley, that work is already ongoing at Glacier View Lodge, and surveyors will begin the process at Cumberland Lodge on April 12.
Volunteers are needed for both locations.
Dates have not yet been set for Ocean Front Village and Comox Valley Seniors Lodge, but volunteers will be needed for those as well.
Surveying has been completed at The Views at St. Joseph’s.
“More volunteers are needed throughout April and May to ensure that each one of these seniors has the opportunity to share their perspective with a friendly face and listening ear,” said Emily Jurek, regional engagement lead with the Ministry of Health.
Jurek said volunteers go into the care homes, sit down with seniors and ask them about their experiences living in care.
“This project is sponsored by the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate,” said Jurek. “When Isobel Mackenzie became B.C.’s first Seniors’ Advocate in 2014, one of her visions was to get the perspective of every resident in long-term care in the province on the quality of care they were receiving. That was done in 2016 and 2017 and now it is being done again, post-pandemic.”
Anyone can apply by calling 778-675-8873, by visiting www.surveybcseniors.org/volunteer or emailing Lindsay Malbon (also with the Ministry of Health) at email@example.com
Interested and approved volunteers will undergo online training, and then will conduct in-person interviews with residents in long-term care. All the questions and materials will be provided, so the volunteers will just sit down with the resident, ask them the questions, and record their responses.
Surveys are being conducted in 298 publicly subsidized long-term care homes across the province. Family and visitors of each resident in care will be invited to complete a related online survey, asking them to share their perceptions of their loved one’s care and their own experience visiting care homes.
“Our project completion deadline is May 31,” said Malbon. “We are looking for one last push of surveyors to help us meet this deadline. The (Comox Valley) care homes that have not yet been given surveying dates – Ocean Front Village and Comox Valley Seniors Lodge – will be open sometime between April and May for surveying.”
According to the Office of the Seniors Advocate, information collected from the resident interviews and family/frequent visitor surveys “will be an important source of information for the Seniors Advocate to identify system-wide issues.”