B.C. Seniors’ Week 2023: Giving a Voice to the Vulnerable

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours”
~ Tia Walker

Since 1986, Seniors Week has been recognized each June to celebrate the contributions seniors make to enhance the quality of life in British Columbia.  Central to BC Seniors Week is recognizing seniors’ contribution to society and ensuring their voices are heard.

Over the past 9 months, volunteer OSA Surveyors, many who are seniors themselves have collectively approached nearly 23,000 residents living in long-term care, to listen to residents’ experiences and to amplify their voices regarding their experience of living at the care home. We thank our surveyors for their effort, dedication, and for giving their time so freely to connect with seniors across the province.

We also want to recognize the residents of the nearly 300 care homes and how those we  are engaging with have impacted us: the personal impact they have on each of the volunteer surveyors, as well as the collective impact they have had on shaping our province’s past and future. It is an absolute privilege to be able to serve them and to listen to their experiences of living at the care home.

The stories and lessons that have been heard by the volunteer surveyors will be remembered and cherished for years to come… as echoed in the comments below from several surveyors.

“I am grateful for this opportunity for a peek inside the world of Long-Term Care Homes… It has given me an insight into the varied needs of people… It is also teaching me the resilience of people in adapting to environments that are, for the most part, far removed from what they would have been accustomed to at “home”… Thank you for giving me the chance to meet and visit with so many lovely people.”
~ Karen

“If our actions can make life better for the residents by making their opinions known and changes [are] made because of that, then I will feel that I have helped bring some comfort to those in the long-term care homes.”
~ Samm

“Thank you for this amazing opportunity to be an advocate surveyor for long-term care residents in my community. It is both humbling and exhilarating, all at the same time.”
~ Cheryl

“This experience has been very rewarding for me. So many of the people I’ve interviewed have provided a lot of inspiration through their attitudes and positive outlook, in spite of adverse experiences and physical impediments. It sure “upped” my positive view of how us humans can live our lives!!”
~ Bert

The OSA Long-Term Care Project Team is celebrating:
– Nearly 500 volunteers recruited
– Over 13,000 volunteer hours logged
– 40 volunteers who have exceeded 60  hours of surveying!

As we reflect and appreciate both senior OSA Surveyors and senior residents, we are humbled by the opportunity to work with, listen to and learn from all of BC’s seniors. On behalf of our entire project team…

Thank you!

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