The provincial government’s announcement of more input from seniors and their families into their care in long-term care facilities is being welcomed locally.
People living in long-term care (LTC) homes will have more input into issues that affect their daily lives.
“The province is strengthening support and oversight of resident and family councils, and encouraging LTC homes currently without a council to establish one to ensure greater voices for residents and their families in decisions that affect them and their loved ones personally,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
The goal of improving the councils is to ensure a greater voice for residents and their families, and to strengthen the partnerships between the councils, the Ministry of Health, health authorities and operators by ensuring opportunities for increased communication and collaboration exist within all long-term care facilities.
“Today’s announcement is definitely welcomed,” said Aly Devji, CEO of Langley Lodge. “Any initiative that increases collaboration and understanding, will positively impact the quality of care and quality of life our residents and their families receive,” Devji noted. “By working together, we can achieve our collective goal of providing a better experience for all who live, visit, and work in the care environment.”
A resident and family council is a group of people that meets regularly to promote the collective interests of residents, and to discuss issues of concern. Councils may include residents, family members and other representatives who act on behalf of residents.
The initiative was just announced, but Devji said the lodge is ready to make the changes.
“Langley Lodge will be working closely with our families and community to support this initiative in hopes that quality at both the local and system level are improved,” he said.
The revised regulations will ensure members have more access to information and can have frank conversations about their experiences.
“The pandemic has had a huge impact on residents in LTC homes and their families. As a government, we have learned a lot and have also taken crucial steps to making sure residents in LTC homes have the best quality of life possible and are safe,” said Mable Elmore, parliamentary secretary for seniors’ services and long-term care.
Councils will be more active when given more administrative support from management and they will have greater representation at the local, regional and provincial levels to affect change. This will lead to a better outcome for all, Elmore said.
Health authorities will oversee the formation of new regional resident family councils with representation from individual councils who will come together to discuss systemic issues and share information. Additionally, the ministry of health will lead a provincial committee with representation from the regional networks to focus on addressing provincial-level issues. Regional councils and the provincial committee will begin meeting in spring 2023.
“These changes will give residents of long-term care, and the people who love them, a much stronger voice in shaping the quality of life for our most frail seniors. It is an extremely positive step forward,” said B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.
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