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September 15, 2017

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie today released results of the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s landmark survey of people living in B.C.’s residential care facilities.

This is the most extensive survey of its kind ever conducted in Canada, targeting over 22,000 individuals in 292 residential care facilities.

“This project was a monumental undertaking and I am so very grateful to all of those who supported our efforts to ensure the voices of such an important part of our population in the province are heard,” said Mackenzie, adding the survey relied on the assistance of over 800 trained volunteers who donated 25,000 hours of their time to conduct in-person interviews with seniors. Residents’ most frequent visitors, usually a family member, were also mailed surveys.

Key positive responses from the survey include:

Key areas where residents and families said improvements are needed include:

The Seniors Advocate has made a number of recommendations on the basis of the findings from this survey, including:

“This report is not the “voice” but the “voices” of residential care as the diversity of opinions is apparent in the results. Together, these voices are telling us that our residential care system has some good aspects—even very good for some—but, taken as a whole, we need to do better and, in some cases, much better. You will read in the report of residents who are waiting too long to get the help they need, who are frustrated by the rigidity of fixed schedules and who want to have more to do and people they can talk to,” said Mackenzie.