Volunteers needed for advocate survey

Oak Bay resident interviews outstanding in province-wide project

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

Volunteers are critical for Oak Bay voices to be heard in the province-wide survey by the Office of the Seniors Advocate.

“Volunteers started last June and we were out to the gate wonderfully. We’re hoping to finish soon and we have quite a lot of sites in Victoria with large numbers of beds,” said Tina Biello, the project’s regional engagement lead for Vancouver Island. “I’ve had a great response, but we ask for 30 hours from volunteers, and some people stay on longer which is wonderful, but some are done at 30 hours … meanwhile we have many sites left in Victoria.”

Residents at Oak Bay Lodge and Oak Bay-adjacent Kiwanis Pavilion and Luther Court still need to be interviewed for the BC SOA Residential Care Survey Project. Volunteers register through the website, signing up for about 30 hours of work that include eight hours of training in administering the surveys.

“The volunteers are the ones on the ground talking to the residents and going over the survey with them. They go out and interview residents in long-term care about what their experience is like being there. It’s quite an extensive survey,” Biello said. “It’s been really successful, people really enjoy the experience, residents love it because someone is coming to visit who isn’t family or staff.”

About 27,000 seniors living in 300 residential care facilities around the province are being asked about their experience with care home staff, the quality of food, privacy, medications and other conditions. It’s the first comprehensive survey done in B.C., to measure resident satisfaction and provides a “roadmap” for improvements, according to Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

While the individual responses remain private, overall results will be made public by the Seniors Advocate’s office. They hope to complete the survey by the end of March.

“Each resident’s most frequent visitor will also be getting a survey in the mail,” Biello said.

Results of the survey will provide a road map for improvements of quality of care and services provided to residents and their families in residential care. Results are to be posted on the Office of the Seniors Advocate website early this year.

Visit www.surveybcseniors.org to start the volunteer process.