About the BC Seniors in Long Term Care Survey

Every resident in long-term care in BC will have the opportunity to share their voice and will be invited to participate in a survey about their experience of care.

The Office of the Senior Advocate has launched the second province-wide survey to hear directly from residents living in 294 publicly-subsidized long-term care homes across the province about their experiences of care.

In addition, all family and visitors of each resident will be invited to complete an online survey.  The rich information collected from the resident interviews and family/frequent visitor surveys will be an important source of information for the Seniors Advocate to identify system wide issues.

This survey project is being managed by the BC Office of Patient-Centred Measurement and Providence Health Care.

Who is involved in this project?

  • The project is working in partnership with all publicly-funded long term care homes.
  • The project is working with a survey vendor, R.A. Malatest, to collect and collate the resident and family member and  visitor survey data.
  • The province-wide survey is volunteer-powered, with over 800 volunteers needed, contributing their time and effort across BC.

We want to again give seniors living in long-term care a collective voice; to hear from residents about their experience living in care in BC. and to survey residents’ family and visitors about their perceptions of their loved one’s care and their own experience visiting care homes. Residents and their visitors will be asked questions about a variety of topics, including: privacy, food, safety, activities, and personal relationships.

When was the first survey done?   What changes occurred as a result?

  • The last survey, the first of its kind in Canada, was undertaken in 2016/17.
  • The final report, ‘Every Voice Counts: Provincial Residential Care Survey Results’, was released in September 2017.
  • The Seniors Advocate’s recommendations resulting from the survey data collected in 2016/17 resulted in the provincial government investing $240 million over three years to increase direct care staffing hours in long-term care homes throughout B.C.
  • In 2020/21, all five health authorities provided an overall B.C. average of 3.37 hours of care per bed per day – an 8% increase compared to 3.11 hours of care per bed per day in 2016/17.
  • This is a significant achievement that has positively impacted the quality of life for many seniors in long-term care in B.C.

The resident survey could not be conducted without the support of volunteers in every region of the province and in every community that has a publicly-funded long-term care home. Interviews will be conducted in-person at individual long-term care homes. The Project team’s commitment is to work with care homes to undertake the survey to ensure the schedule works for the care home and volunteers will be assigned based on their stated availability.

Residents’ family and frequent visitors will have the option of doing the survey online, by phone or requesting a hard copy by mail.


The survey will help us learn about the quality of care from the perspective of residents and their families and visitors. The results from this survey will provide a road map for improvement of the care and services provided to residents and their families in long-term care. Results will be publicly reported by the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate. The names and any other personally identifiable information about residents will not be published. At all times the personal information of our residents and their families and visitors is protected and will only be used as authorized under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


Residents will be approached to participate in an in-person interview with a trained Volunteer Surveyor, who is independent from the care home. The Volunteer Surveyor will conduct a standardized interview to collect the perceptions and  stories about the resident’s quality of life in the care home. The interviews are estimated to be between 45 and 90 minutes in length, determined by the pace and preferences of the resident. Many residents enjoy the interview conversation and wish to continue providing feedback when the survey is over. Volunteers are provided with training on how to engage and disengage with residents in a respectful manner.

The resident’s loved one, a family member or frequent visitor, will have the option of doing the survey online, by phone or requesting a paper copy by mail.

Participating in an interview or completing a survey is completely voluntary. All resident and visitor information will be treated confidently and in compliance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

About the Office of the Seniors Advocate

The Office of the Seniors Advocate in an independent office of the provincial government. The Seniors Advocate was appointed in March 2014, and is the first such position in Canada. The Office monitors and analyzes seniors’ services and issues in B.C., and makes recommendations to government and service providers to address systemic issues.

Seniors Advocate

The services which the Office monitors are in five key areas: health care, housing, income supports, personal supports and transportation. The Office has published a number of reports in these areas, publicly available on its website. The Office collaborates with service providers, government and health authorities to improve effectiveness, efficiency and outcomes. A council of advisers, made up of B.C. seniors, provides the Seniors Advocate with advice and feedback from the perspective of seniors with diverse backgrounds, ages, geographical areas and cultures.

In her September 2017 report Every Voice Counts: Provincial Residential Care Survey Results, the Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, committed that the Office would again in 5 years, undertake a survey of all residents in publicly funded care homes in B.C. to determine what is working, and what could be improved.

Learn more about the OSA at seniorsadvocatebc.ca