About the BC Seniors in Residential Care Survey

Every resident in long-term residential 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.

This project is being led by the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate, an independent office of the provincial government. The project is being managed by the BC Patient Centred Measurement Working Group and Providence Health Care. The project has been informed by the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate’s Long-Term Care Consultation Group.

Who is involved in this project?

  • The project is working in partnership with all health authority owned and operated sites, as well as all contracted sites (private-for-profit and private not-for-profit).
  • The project is working with a survey vendor, the National Research Corporation of Canada, to collect and collate the resident and most frequent visitor survey data.
  • The interviews are volunteer-powered, with over 900 volunteers needed contributing their time and effort across BC.

We want to give seniors living in long term residential care a collective voice. To survey every resident about their experience living in residential care in BC. To survey the person who visits the resident the most about their perceptions of their loved one’s care and their own experience visiting residential care homes. Residents and their visitors will be asked questions about a variety of topics, including: privacy, food, safety, activities, and personal relationships.

What are we doing?

  • Each residential care home has a Facility Coordinator who will liaise with the survey team.
  • The most important role of the Facility Coordinator is to welcome volunteers to each facility.

All residents living in publicly-funded care homes across BC will be invited to participate. Interviews will be conducted in-person at individual sites and this is the only way residents will be surveyed.


The survey will help us learn about the quality of residential 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 residential 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 The names and any other personally identifiable information about residents will not be published.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. All personal identifiable information will be removed prior to publicly releasing any results.


Residents will be approached to participate in an in-person interview with a trained Volunteer, who is independent from the facility. The Volunteer Interviewer will conduct a standardized interview to collect the perceptions and  stories about the resident’s quality of life in the care home. The names and any other personally identifiable information about residents will not be published. The interviews are estimated to be between 45 and 90 minutes in length, determined by the pace and preferences of the resident.

  • The Most Frequent Visitor will be identified by the staff at the care home and will receive a mailed survey. The mailed survey will contain a link to complete the survey online, if the respondent wishes.
  • Participating in an interview or completing a survey is completely voluntary. All resident and most frequent 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 October 2014 report The Journey Begins, Together We Can do Better, the Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, committed that the Office would 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