Volunteers needed to interview seniors

The provincial Seniors Advocate is recruiting volunteers to interview 27,000 seniors living in 303 residential care facilities scattered across British Columbia.

More that 250 volunteers have signed up to be part of the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s residential care survey team and there are still a range of volunteer opportunities available for individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, ages and ethnicities.

“This is the first time… feedback from seniors in residential care settings has been comprehensively collected,” Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie said in a statement.

“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 and the feedback we’re receiving from both volunteers and seniors themselves is very positive.”

Volunteers are asking residents a range of questions from the quality of food, to how they view care staff, with the goal of gauging resident satisfaction and providing a roadmap for improvements to quality of care.

The statement said that feedback from seniors has been diverse. However, a common emerging theme is he impact if having their voices heard.

“A resident came to me and explained… how a person had come to her and asked her questions for a long time,” the statement quoted Norma Sorenson, manager at Victoria’s Mount Tolmie Care Home as saying. “The resident recounted how they just sat together and the person listened to her and she was just thrilled. As a manager, I felt sad that being listened to was such a novelty for the resident.”

To volunteer for the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s residential care survey, visit www.surveybcseniors.org. Volunteers can apply online or by calling the Office of the Seniors Advocate office at 1-877-952-3181.

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