Residential Care Survey

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie today released results of the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s landmark survey of people living in B.C.’s residential care facilities.

This is the most extensive survey of its kind ever conducted in Canada, targeting over 22,000 individuals in 292 residential care facilities.

“This project was a monumental undertaking and I am so very grateful to all of those who supported our efforts to ensure the voices of such an important part of our population in the province are heard,” said Mackenzie, adding the survey relied on the assistance of over 800 trained volunteers who donated 25,000 hours of their time to conduct in-person interviews with seniors. Residents’ most frequent visitors, usually a family member, were also mailed surveys.

Key positive responses from the survey include:

  • 50% of residents rated the overall quality of the care home as very good or excellent with 83% of residents believing the staff know what they are doing
  • 88% of family members report being involved in decisions about the care of their loved one
  • 80% of residents indicate they get the services they need
  • 65% of family members rated the facility 8 or higher when 10 was the highest possible score
  • 88% feel safe in the care home
  • 86% of residents feel staff treat them with respect
  • 88% of family members or most frequent visitors report that facility staff addresses their concerns always or most of the time

Key areas where residents and families said improvements are needed include:

  • 62% of residents say they do not get to bathe or shower as often as they want
  • One in four residents say they sometimes, rarely or never get help to the toilet when needed and 25% of residents report staff try to relieve physical discomfort sometimes, rarely or never
  • More than one-third of residents report they are not consistently getting the help they need at mealtimes
  • Almost 46% of residents report there is no one living in the facility that they consider a close friend and 45% report there is no one for them to do things with
  • Less than half (46%) of residents say staff regularly make time for friendly conversation
  • 49% of residents only sometimes, rarely or never have the same care aide on most weekdays
  • 4 out of 10 residents living in residential care do not want to be there
  • Only 57% of residents report that the care facility regularly feels like home

The Seniors Advocate has made a number of recommendations on the basis of the findings from this survey, including:

  • Increase flexibility around when and how care, services and activities are delivered
  • Foster greater engagement with family members
  • Examine opportunities to improve the meal time experience

“This report is not the “voice” but the “voices” of residential care as the diversity of opinions is apparent in the results. Together, these voices are telling us that our residential care system has some good aspects—even very good for some—but, taken as a whole, we need to do better and, in some cases, much better. You will read in the report of residents who are waiting too long to get the help they need, who are frustrated by the rigidity of fixed schedules and who want to have more to do and people they can talk to,” said Mackenzie.

Read News Release

Read Full Report (Provincial Results)

Read Full Report (Health Authority Results)

View PowerPoint Presentation

View video about our volunteers

Audio transcript of teleconference

Press Release: Caregiver Distress in B.C. rising while available supports fail to keep pace

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

Caregiver Distress in B.C. rising while available supports fail to keep pace

Victoria – Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie released an update report today confirming that caregiver distress is rising in B.C. while supports and services are not keeping pace with growing need.

“We looked at data two years ago showing that B.C. has one of the highest rates of caregiver distress in Canada,” said Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.’s Seniors Advocate. “We were hoping when we looked at the data in this area this year that we would see improvements, but unfortunately, this is not the case.”

The report, Caregivers in Distress: A Growing Problem, is an update to a 2015 report that indicated 29% of unpaid caregivers are experiencing symptoms of distress such as anger, depression or feelings of not being able to continue with their caregiving duties. Data highlighted in the current report indicate rates of distress have increased by 7% to 31%.

“This is a disturbing trend on its own when we think of the daily reality for all the sons, daughters, spouses, neighbours and friends who are dedicating hundreds of hours caring for loved ones,” said Mackenzie. “However there is even more cause for concern when we look at additional data in this report that indicate the frailty and complexity of those we are caring for at home is actually increasing, and the supports and services that can make an immense difference to the lives of caregivers are not keeping pace.”

The report focuses on the caregivers of individuals receiving publicly subsidized home support in the province, as this is the only sub-set of the caregiving community where measurable data using detailed health care assessments are available. This report also relies on data that tracks key support services such as Adult Day Programs, which provide regular programming and relief to caregivers, respite in residential care facilities, and additional home support services, that also help provide a reprieve from caregiving duties.

“Having a break for even a few hours can make a huge difference in the lives of caregivers who are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed,” said Mackenzie. “For some caregivers, time alone to refocus and recharge is something very precious and we need to recognize that it can make the difference between feeling strong enough to carry on with caring commitments, or giving up entirely.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • In 2015/16, 31% of clients had a primary caregiver in distress. This is a 7% increase from the 2015 report
  • Over this period, the actual number of primary caregivers identifying as distressed increased by over 1,000, which represents a 14% increase in the actual number of caregivers in distress
  • The number of home support clients accessing Adult Day Programs decreased by 5% and the number of days delivered to these clients decreased by 2%
  • The average hours of home support per day per client over 65 decreased by 5%, signaling less intensive service

“Unpaid caregivers are a vital, often unrecognized yet critical piece in ensuring the stability of our health care system,” said Mackenzie, adding there are approximately one million unpaid caregivers in the province whose paid value is estimated to be $3.5 billion. “The importance of maximizing supports can’t be underestimated when we consider costly alternatives such as residential care or hospital stays.”

Download a PDF of the news release: (123kb)
Caregiver Distress News Release Final

Download a PDF of the Distress Update Release PowerPoint presentation: (600kb)
Caregiver in Distress Update Release 2017 Final

Download a PDF of the Report (3.2MB):
Caregivers in Distress – A Growing Problem – Final

Media contact:

Sara Darling
Director of Communications
Office of the Seniors Advocate

Care For Aging Parents Is Costing Canadians Billions: Study

Caring for aging parents costs Canadians $33 billion a year in direct out-of-pocket expenses and time off work, a new study by CIBC says. The report also says that number will only increase over the next decade, as the share of Canadians aged 65 and older grows from its current level of 17 per cent to roughly 22 per cent. Findings from the poll suggest close to two million Canadians, or 14 per cent of those with parents over the age of 65, incur care-related out-of pocket costs of $3,300 per year — translating into an annual cost of just over $6 billion.

But direct costs pale in comparison to labour-related costs, in which close to 30 per cent of workers with parents over the age of 65 sacrifice about 450 working hours annually —accounting for roughly $27 billion of lost income or foregone vacation time.

CIBC’s online survey was conducted from March 16-20 among Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

“An aging population combined with longer life spans and strained social services has in recent years seen more and more Canadians taking on the role of caregiver for their aging parents, and in the coming years, that tendency is only likely to intensify,” said CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal in a statement. “Add in the fact that costs associated with the elderly are already rising faster than the pace of inflation because of the high demand for such goods and services, and you can see that this will be a major concern for a growing number of Canadians in the years to come.”

Article originally posted here on May 8, 2018.

Census 2016: Youth in the North, seniors on the Island

Metro Vancouver has most of the working-aged adults, but Whistler tops the list

Statistics Canada’s 2016 census data on age shows there are more seniors than children for the first time in Canada. In B.C., the census shows the two groups are concentrated in different areas of the province, with youth in the North and seniors on Vancouver Island.

Where are the children?
Four out of five of B.C.’s youngest communities are in the North. An administrative region in the Peace River area topped the list, followed by the city of Fort St. John. In the Metro Vancouver area, Squamish had the highest proportion of children, followed by Chilliwack, Mission and Abbotsford.

Where are the seniors?
They are mostly on Vancouver Island. Qualicum Beach is the only region in B.C. where more than half the population is over the age of 65. White Rock is Metro Vancouver’s oldest community, with just over a third of the population over 65.

Where are the working-aged adults?
They are skiing in Whistler. Whistler topped the list with more than 80 per cent of the population aged 15-64. Outside of Whistler, the cities with the most working-aged adults are almost exclusively in Metro Vancouver, with the exceptions of Fort St. John and Esquimalt, just outside Victoria.

Article was originally posted here on May 3, 2017.

Meet Lena, Executive Director of the Office of Patient-Centred Measurement & Improvement

Lena works as the Provincial Executive Director for the Office of Patient-Centred Measurement & Improvement. She has been a part of the project since its infancy and has been vital to leading and supporting the core project team.

What do you do at Providence Health Care?

I have a unique role. I am based at Providence Health Care in Vancouver, yet I have been permanently seconded to the Ministry of Health to lead British Columbia’s strategy for the measurement of patient-centred care. My job is to ensure that the people who use BC’s healthcare services have a voice in assessing the quality of the care and services they receive. We ask patients, and in the case of this project we asked frail seniors living in residential care (as well as each resident’s most frequent visitor) to provide feedback about their experiences of care, to rate their overall satisfaction with those experiences, and to provide self-reports about their health-related quality of life. My job is to work with patients, family members, clinicians, leaders, policy makers, community stakeholder groups, academics, researchers, and a host of others to determine the best way for people who use our provincial healthcare services to have a voice in assessing and telling us how to improve BC’s healthcare services. That includes selecting scientifically rigorous survey instruments as the vehicle for patients to provide their feedback, deciding on the best way to field each survey (mail, interview, phone, email), to decide what languages are needed, and whether we need to develop and test additional questions that address issues important to our patients in BC. Our province-wide, coordinated surveys are very large scale projects. I’m proud to work in a province that values the voice of the people we serve and that has been committed to making the investments necessary to conduct sector surveys continuously since 2003. BC is a leader in the area of patient-centred measurement. As the Executive Director of the Office of Patient-Centred Measurement for the Ministry of Health, I wake up every morning feeling lucky that Providence and the Ministry of Health have given me the responsibility to lead this work.

What do you like to do when you’re not helping manage this massive project?

When I’m not working, I am most likely to be outdoors hiking. I bought my first pair of hiking boots when I joined Mount Saint Joseph Hospital’s Hiking Club 27 years ago…and I still have those leather boots! What I love about hiking is being physically active while surrounded by nature in the company of interesting people. My love of hiking must have been infectious, as my children (now 25 and 22) also love hiking and all kinds of outdoor activities.  They still climb some of the same trails with me today that they enjoyed as youngsters (the Lions, Lost Lake and Bert’s Bluff on Gambier Island, Garabaldi and Black Tusk) and they have joined me on hiking trips abroad where we have climbed Mt. Sinai in the Egyptian desert, Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala, among others.

What has been the biggest challenge in managing this project for you?

There are always challenges with large, complex projects such as this, and while there were many (many, many) challenges, there wasn’t one challenge that was bigger than the rest.  When we take on survey projects we do our best to assess the risks and make decisions in advance of starting a project about those we will mitigate (try to reduce), those we will accept, and those we want to avoid at all costs.  That is an important part of managing a project.  Lillian Parsons, the Project Manager, and the RELs did a phenomenal job of managing the challenges that arose throughout the life cycle of this project.  For example, although we had anticipated and developed a contingency plan for influenza season, we did need to adjust that plan when it became clear that the number and severity of outbreaks were higher than in past years.  The disappointment of volunteers who could not have a flu shot and, therefore, couldn’t interview until the end of the flu season, was a necessary response to this challenge, however, it still broke my heart that we had volunteers committed to this project whose enthusiasm for the project needed to be put on hold.

What impressed you the most?

The quality, professionalism and commitment to this project by everyone involved was not only impressive, it was extraordinary.  Volunteers, community stakeholders, care home operators, care teams, our own staff, and the OSA’s team…everyone pulled together at every stage of this project and it was that team effort that made the OSA’s survey a success. Every single person I approached for help or advice willingly stepped in and stepped up to the challenges.  The clarity of Isobel Mackenzie’s vision…that every resident living in long term care and their MFV would be given an opportunity to provide feedback to help ensure that the quality of residential care in BC is something we can all be proud of… resonated with everyone. Many people said that a project of this scale, targeting a population of frail seniors and using a volunteer model, couldn’t be done.

What has impressed me the most is that the collective contributions of everyone who worked on the OSA’s survey proved those who said this project “couldn’t be done”… WRONG!  Special thanks to you, our phenomenal volunteers, for proving that this important project COULD BE DONE!  YOU ROCK!

We are finished!

As of Friday, April 28th, all resident interviews in all of BC were completed. This is a tremendous feat and one we couldn’t have done without the tireless support of our over 800 volunteers.

In the words of Isobel Mackenzie,  “without a doubt the heart and soul of this survey are the 800+ volunteers who logged 25,000 hours of their time to make sure that each and every resident in our care facilities was given the opportunity to have their voice heard.”

Across BC, our 800+ volunteers have…

  • Attended 128 training sessions (including 9 online sessions)
  • Contributed more than 24,993 hours of volunteer time since June 2016
  • Engaged with more than 25,000  residents in care homes across BC
  • Completed more than 9,500 interviews with residents about their experience living in long-term care
Thank you once again from all of us at Providence Health and the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate!

Our Volunteer Interviewers’ Own Experiences

We know our volunteers have just spent the better part of a year asking residents questions about their experience in care. So we thought it might be time to ask the volunteers about their experience conducting these surveys.

Here is a sample of some of the responses we got back about their experience as Volunteer Interviewers with the BC Office of the Seniors Advocate’s Residential Care survey.

Was your role as a Volunteer Interviewer for this project what you expected it would be?

“This was a far better experience than I could have imagined.  I met so many nice people and some of the residents just wanted to visit and tell stories.  It was very rewarding!”

“The work as volunteer interviewer exceeded my expectations. It was a challenging but very rewarding experience. I felt like I contributed a lot to assure the health and well-being for the seniors in BC.”

“It was a profoundly satisfying experience engaging — sometimes with success and sometimes not — with seniors.”

“I was very nervous to start with but it turned out to be a very positive and rewarding experience and I did enjoy the process.”

What did you enjoy the most about being a Volunteer Interviewer?

“I truly enjoyed engaging with the participants in the survey. They touched my heart. If I did nothing else, I know I brought some joy into their day.”

“Giving people the opportunity to have their voice heard by participating in the survey was the most enjoyable aspect.”

“Interacting with each individual resident on a personal level. They all have such unique personalities and life experiences that factored into the interaction.”

“The sheer joy of meeting new people and hearing stories from their lives, war brides, children, pets and memories.”

Highlights from the OSA’s HandyDART Survey Results

BC’s Seniors Advocate released results of a province-wide survey of almost 7,500 HandyDART users in the province in February.

The survey highlights that while 91% of users are satisfied with the service when they receive it, almost 1/3 of respondents say it is not meeting, or only moderately meeting, their
transportation needs. “Obviously there’s good news here,” said Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie. “People are telling us that across many aspects of this service, things are positive, however we are still concerned that there are a significant number of seniors whose transportation needs are not being met,” Mackenzie added, noting ride availability, wait times for rides, and the booking experience including the time required to book rides in advance are areas where riders feel improvements are most needed. “The cost of the service is another area that we need to look closely at,” said Mackenzie. “While 83% of respondents told us cost is not an issue, we have to remember that some of our lowest income seniors rely heavily on this service and they clearly are telling us if it cost less, they would use it more.” Currently 53% of users have an income of less than $20,000 while 15% have incomes less than $10,000 per year.

HandyDART is a door-to-door service provided by TransLink, BC Transit, and their service providers for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance. The majority of users, approximately 78%, are 65 or older. Last year 2.37 million rides were provided, with 51% of these in the Lower Mainland. The Office of the Seniors Advocate’s survey asked a range of questions about the service including what people think of the application process, the availability of rides, the cost of the service, as well as overall satisfaction levels. The questions for the survey were developed through a consultation process that included users of HandyDART, service funders as well as front-line staff.

Highlights from the survey include:
Almost 80% of HandyDART clients are able to book a roundtrip always or most of the time
26% said they were rarely or never able to get a ride when placed on standby
28% of riders whose annual income is less than $10,000 said they would use HandyDART more often if it cost less
38% are somewhat or not at all familiar with no-show or cancellation policies – only 75% of BC
Transit clients and 69% of Translink clients agree they know how to provide feedback around services
60% of clients report they always reach appointment on time – less than 50% report they are always picked up within the 30-minute window

For more information about the HandyDART Survey, please go here.

Which cities have the oldest residents?

By 2020, the global population of people over 60 will outnumber children under five for the first time. How will our ageing communities affect urban life – and where is the phenomenon most noticeable?

One of Tokyo’s many grey-haired taxi drivers once challenged me to guess his age. Trying to be polite, I pegged him at 64. “I’m 82”, he grinned. Such an admission wouldn’t usually inspire confidence in a passenger. But in Tokyo, where almost a quarter of the population are over 65, working so late in life isn’t just a personal triumph; it’s fast becoming a social necessity.

Japan, which has the highest proportion of people over 65 in the world, is ahead of other countries in embracing ageing as an urban phenomenon. Its capital city is a good example of an appropriate urban environment for older people: for one, you’ll rarely find steps in public buildings or train stations in Tokyo without an accompanying ramp or lift. Everything from the traffic lights to elevators to the ATMs talks at you, often in a squeaky voice. This isn’t a cutesy Japanese foible, as many foreign visitors assume – it’s to ensure that signals and instructions are also communicated to people with poor eyesight.

Cities have traditionally run on young blood, defined by energy, innovation and change, while getting older has been associated with embracing a quieter life in the suburbs or rural areas. And yet, as a result of the economic development and advances in healthcare in the 20th century, the world is both urbanising and ageing. These twin challenges are converging to create a new phenomenon: silver cities.

By 2020, the global population of people aged 60 and over will outnumber children younger than five years for the first time. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2050, there will be 2 billion people aged 60 years and older, up from 841 million today.

Older populations are expanding faster in cities than in non-metropolitan areas in OECD countries. In Lisbon, Milan, Barcelona and Tokyo, nearly a quarter of the population are already over 65. Contrary to popular assumptions, it’s not just a problem for Japan and Europe: by 2050, the population aged 65 and over in developing countries is expected to more than triple, outpacing the global growth rate. According to the WHO, 80% of people over 60 will be living in developing countries within five decades.

The ageing of the global population is something to celebrate, as it reflects the improved living standards that have raised average life expectancy from 47 in the 1950s to around 70 today. At the same time, birth rates have fallen, resulting in a higher proportion of older people. In most countries, mortality fell before fertility did, creating a so-called “baby boomer” generation that was followed by generations of fewer and fewer children.

In cities with slow growth this effect is acute: in Tokyo, Milan, and Barcelona, the over-65s outnumber the under-14s by a factor of around two to one. These cities could be said to be the most elderly in the world.

By comparison, cities such as Shanghai, Seoul and Moscow may be relatively young, but their older populations are growing fast. In London – where 32% of the population is under 25 – the number of people over 60 is projected to expand by 48% by 2035, while the population of the under 60s will only increase by 12%, according to a report by the mayor’s Design Advisory Group.

A third category of cities still have a majority of young people and are ageing at a slower pace, although they will face similar demographic shifts in the future. Johannesburg, where 41% of people are under 25 and only 4% are over 65, is one of these.

How does a city effectively support healthy ageing while remaining a vital centre of culture, commerce and innovation? The WHO defines an “age-friendly” city as one which ensures quality of life for people as they age by optimising opportunities for health, participation in society, and security. By improving access to both urban infrastructure and society, cities can ensure people remain active in work, family and civic life as they age, reaping the benefits of their experience and knowledge. Ageing societies also present opportunities for innovation – and therefore growth.

However, ageing cities do face a challenge. They will need to balance a shrinking labour supply with increased costs for health and social care. In Calgary, where only 2% of older people participate in the labour force, a programme was established to hire retired city employees for limited-term projects that require particular skills. To respond to increasing care needs and to allow people to stay in their homes for as long as possible, Helsinki has launched a pilot programme to provide customised home services from public, private and voluntary associations that are in line with people’s personal budgets.

Cities will also have to deal with an increase in people suffering complex physical and mental health issues due to ageing. In Japan, dementia-related railway accidents are on the increase, which led convenience stores in Osaka to pledgethey would be “dementia supporters” by training staff to assist older people who appear disorientated.

Balancing the desires of different generations can be difficult: last year, Tokyo changed a law to stop children’s voices being considered noise pollution, after multiple complaints from elderly residents living near schools were upheld, preventing the construction of new nurseries in a city that suffers from a dire shortage of childcare facilities.

Older people – defined as those over 65 for the purposes of this article – are not a homogenous group, however, as Florian Kohlbacher, founding director of the Research Institute on Ageing and Society at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University explains. People’s lifestyles, physical and mental capacities and personal preferences become more diverse as they age. That means that while some need round-the-clock care, many others are running businesses, or marathons. Fighting ageism – and the image of older people as physically or mentally impaired , or even “useless” – is one of the major challenges in developing a city in which older people can live life to the fullest and in which their accumulated skills and wisdom are properly harnessed.

That said, there is a higher statistical incidence of disability and illness in older people, and most of us become physically weaker as we age. Since lack of exercise can accelerate physical decline and lead to osteoporosis, obesity and other health problems, cities should encourage walking and cycling to prevent age-related declines in strength and fitness, according to an OECD report. To that end, Yokohama, a city near Tokyo, has introduced a walking programme that offers free pedometers to people over 40 and awards points for steps walked. 152,670 people have signed up so far; 92,168 of the participants are over 65.

Since close proximity to shops and parks is associated with higher mobility, compact cities with public transport networks may be healthier environments to age in than rural locations, where a car is needed to get around. In one study in Portland, housing density was associated with greater levels of walking while another in Bogota found that having pedestrianised corridors at the weekend was correlated with more walking among older residents.

But the downside of urban living can be a lack of personal contact. Isolation is a big problem for older people, who often become “invisible” in cities. Some are too frail or physically incapacitated to make their way around the city; others lack incentives, the financial capacity or access to social events. Many also live alone. As the WHO notes, older people tend to prefer human contact to automated systems, and so a “smart city” in which the main interface is a touch-screen rather than a human face may be detrimental for older people’s mental health.

However, there are some ways in which technology can be leveraged to lessen isolation. Beşiktaş, a city in Turkey with double the proportion of over-65s as the rest of the country, launched a “wellness service” in 2013 that provides senior citizens with a device through which they can order services such as meals or a haircut, phone friends and family, or even call an ambulance, at the push of a button.

Work is one way to tackle isolation. The mayor’s design advisory group in London recently released a reportadvocating for the creation of an “intergenerational start-up culture” that would connect experienced older people with younger entrepreneurs. The report also acknowledged that many older people have the potential to become entrepreneurs themselves. Lisbon has started a Senior University, open to anyone over the age of 50, where senior volunteers offer lectures on the arts or computer sciences, while the Technical University of Lisbon (UTL) provides classes for over 50s that lead to a degree in science, technology or citizenship. A new partnership in Manchester between Centre for Ageing Better and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) aims to develop and share innovative approaches to tackling social, economic and health inequalities in later life, including supporting people aged 50 years and over re-enter the labour market.

Due to a low birth rate and the lack of mass immigration in Japan, it is estimated that by 2022 there will only be two people of working age for every person over 65. However, it also has one of the highest labour participation rates in older people in the developed world, with 29.3% of men over 65 employed, versus 8.2% in Germany and 3.2% in France. Some work out of financial necessity, but many accept such jobs because work in Japanese culture is tightly correlated to personal self-esteem and ikigai, or purpose in life.

That reality is evident on the streets of Tokyo, and not just with octagenarian taxi drivers. Many retired men find work painting fences, managing bicycle parks, or even on roadworks, where they are usually charged with waving a luminous stick to alert pedestrians and cyclists to the existence of a hole in the pavement.

Whether they’re working or not, older people are going to be an increasingly common presence in our cities in years to come. What we can hope is that our cities’ old age is, much like our own, not as bad as our younger selves feared; and that, with support from both the state and society, our cities will turn more silver than grey.

Article originally appeared here on April 27, 2016.

Meet Sara, Director of Communications at the OSA

Sara has been a part of this project since 2014 and works as the Director of Communications at the Office of the Seniors Advocate. She has been integral to supporting the RELs and the Project Manager in implementing this project across the province.

Sara is a former journalist having spent the first part of her career as a newspaper writer and then moving to the CBC, where she spent 25 years working in both news and documentary production. She worked for the CBC in several locations across Canada, including a five-year stint with CBC North where she had the chance to spend time in some of Canada’s most remote communities where she had the chance to take part in many activities from dog sledding to skinning seals that are just a little different than her current job.

Sara’s passion for tackling important issues and hearing people’s stories drew her to the OSA. As Director of Communications it is her job to help shape the office’s evidence and research into meaningful public dialogue. Sara hs a hand in many aspects of the office’s work from helping to write public reports to identifying emerging seniors’ issues to engaging with a wide range of stakeholders.  Sara has been the key liaison from the OSA assisting in the recruitment of volunteers and helping manage issues as they arise.

Sara has two teenagers and her husband is also a journalist. When not at work, Sara loves to read, cook and avoid as much as possible her overgrown garden.