Seniors in care surveyed

Volunteers still needed to survey seniors in publicly funded care facilities.

The province’s seniors advocate is still looking for volunteers to carry out an extensive survey of the 27,000 seniors living in care facilities across B.C.

“This is the first time in this province that we have had volunteers sit face-to-face with some of our most vulnerable seniors on such a large scale,” Isobel Mackenzie said.

The survey encompasses the province’s 303 residential care facilities and is conducted in person by volunteers, who receive a one-day training session and are asked for a commitment of at least 30 hours.

Survey questions focus on such issues as privacy, food, safety, security, respect and responsiveness of staff.

A matching mail-out survey is sent to the residents’ most frequent visitor.

About 700 volunteers have come forward to do the work but more are needed. About one third of them are actively interviewing seniors and others while the remaining ones are being trained to do the surveys. Organizers would like to have more than 900 volunteers.

All residents living in publicly funded care homes across B.C. will be invited to participate. Interviews will be conducted in-person at individual sites and this is the only way residents will be surveyed.

Results will be publicly reported by the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate. The names and any other personally identifiable information about residents will not be published.

“I am so grateful that all of you embraced this challenge with such commitment, patience and empathy. I know the time you have taken with our province’s seniors has been a very meaning experience for them,” Mackenzie said.

– With files from the Vancouver Sun.

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