Survey probes B.C.’s seniors care homes

Privacy, dignity, food quality among questions of Seniors Advocate (with VIDEO)

The Seniors Advocate office is conducting a survey of care home residents and their most frequent visitors.

Seniors living in long-term care homes across the province, from Aldergrove to Zeballos, are being interviewed for their opinions on the care that their individual facilities provide.

It’s an ambitious undertaking of the province’s Seniors Advocate, in fact it’s an unprecedented undertaking, according to project manager Lillian Parsons.

“This provincial project will visit all 27,000 residents in 303 care homes in B.C.,” Parsons said.

“So far we have completed interviews with 10,000 residents, including 30 of the 70 homes in Fraser Health region.”

The goal is to find out if care home residents are living meaningful lives, with questions about food served, activities offered, privacy, dignity and the opportunity to make friends.

The individual residents will also be asked for the name of their most frequent visitor, who will receive a mail-in version of the survey to contribute their impressions of the care facilities to the project.

While the individual responses will be kept private, the overall results will be made public by the Seniors Advocate’s office.

The Seniors Advocate will also use these results to make recommendations to the Ministry of Health.

The project team has recruited about 500 volunteers to perform the surveys and they are now reaching out for more help.

The volunteers sign up for about 30 hours of work over six to eight weeks in their own communities, and those 30 hours include eight hours of training in administering the surveys.

Parsons is aiming at wrapping up the project by this coming February and welcomes inquiries from prospective volunteers.

Full information is available online at surveybcseniors.org.

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