Volunteers needed for senior care study

The province is undertaking a study of its most elderly and vulnerable citizens and is looking to Elk Valley volunteers for help.

  • Jan. 20, 2017 8:00 a.m.

By Ezra Black

The province is undertaking a comprehensive study of its most elderly and vulnerable citizens and is looking to Elk Valley volunteers for help.

B.C.’s Office of the Senior Advocate is interviewing 27,000 residents in 303 long-term care homes to gauge their wellbeing and the quality of their accommodations.

“It’s the first time we will have all the permanent care residents in B.C. sharing their experiences,” said Jessica Kleissen, regional engagement lead.

Senior Advocate is looking for Fernie area residents to conduct interviews for the survey at the Rocky Mountain Village care home.

Volunteers will be screened and if suitable will participate in a one-day training session. They will be asked for a commitment of at least 30 hours over the survey period.

Each volunteer will be responsible for surveying a certain number of residents. Administrative support will be provided.

The survey will explore a range of questions relating to privacy, food, safety and security, comfort, respect and responsiveness of staff, personal relationships, medications and activities in the facility.

Though individual responses will be kept private, results of the survey will be posted publicly on the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s website in early 2017. Each care home will get a specific report, which will allow anybody to go online and have a look at what the residents feel about a particular facility.

The data collected will also be used in conversations with the B.C.’s Ministry of Health for funding and other issues.

“It’s going to be valuable information,” said Kleissen.

According to Seniors Advocate, 12,000 residents have already been interviewed since the project was launched in August 2016 but more work is needed to finish the project.

“This is a pretty big undertaking,” said Kleissen. “These are some of our most vulnerable people and we’re providing them the opportunity to have a voice and say what they think and how they feel about the care they are receiving.”

More information can be found at surveybcseniors.org or by emailing Kleissen at jkleissen@providencehealth.bc.ca.