BC Health Coalition

BC Health Coalition

November 01, 2011 16:19 ET

BC Health Coalition: Seniors Grade Province on Care

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 1, 2011) - A delegation of seniors gathered at the BC legislature today to present the provincial government with a report card on the progress the province has made in implementing the BC Ombudsperson's recommendations to improve seniors' care.

"Seniors deserve grade A care," said Kathleen Kyle from the steps of the legislature.

Kyle, whose husband lives in a Victoria residential care facility, reminded those in attendance that the BC Ombudsperson's investigation was launched in 2008 as a response to widespread public concern about the state of seniors' care in B.C. The first of two reports outlines ten recommendations to improve care for seniors living in residential care facilities.

Earlier in the day, Kyle joined others in the BC Health Coalition delegation to present Health Minister Michael de Jong with the results of the report card: one "C" and two "D"s.

"The deadlines to fulfill the ten recommendations have passed and so far the province has only partially implemented four of the recommendations," said BC Health Coalition co-chair Alice Edge. "We are here to say that the progress that has been made to date is promising but seniors in B.C. deserve better."

"These simple recommendations would make a huge difference for so many seniors," said delegation member Lesley Cockrell of the Vancouver Island Association of Family Councils.

Edge noted that the second and much more comprehensive Ombudsperson's report is expected out in spring 2012 and will include approximately 150 recommendations to improve home support, assisted living and residential care.

"With an extensive set of recommendations coming in the spring it is important that the province demonstrate that it recognizes the legitimacy and integrity of this investigation by acting on the remaining recommendations from the first report," says Edge.

"Minister de Jong has agreed to meet with us again to discuss the Ombudsperson's next report. In the meantime he has said he welcomes feedback on guidelines for facility operators, is willing to consider our call for the establishment of a seniors' advocate and acknowledges the value of having a designated health authorities liaison for resident and family councils."

The following participants available for comment:

Alice Edge, BC Health Coalition: 604-787-6560
Lyne England, Vancouver Island Association of Family Councils: 250-658-8593
Nora Etches, Canadian Doctors for Medicare: 604-8752029
Len Cohen, Vancouver Cross Cultural Seniors Network: 604-732-1555
Kathleen Kyle, Vancouver Island Association of Family Councils: 250-598-9640
Susanne Francoeur, residential care aide: 250-812-2014
Carla Dempsey, community home support worker: 604-785-5721
Carolyn Unsworth, care aide: 778-773-2470

Download the BCHC Report Card on Seniors' Care in B.C.: http://www.bchealthcoalition.ca/images/PDF/ContinuingCare/ombuds_recs_report_card_letter.pdf

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