Volunteer interviewers needed in Langley

Unprecedented study being done to examine how well seniors are looked after in care homes across B.C.

Volunteers in Langley are needed to help fulfill a B.C.-wide survey about care of seniors in care homes.

Volunteers are needed to help find out if seniors are living meaningful lives in care homes across B.C.

Put on by the provincial government’s Seniors Advocate, a one-day training session will be offered in Langley on Jan. 18. Volunteers can apply online ASAP at Surveybcseniors.org.

Seniors living in long-term care homes across the province, including in Langley, are being interviewed for their opinions on the care that their individual facilities provide.

It’s an ambitious undertaking by the province’s Seniors Advocate.

In fact, it’s an unprecedented task, according to project manager Lillian Parsons.

“This provincial project will visit all 27,000 residents in 303 care homes in B.C.,” Parsons said. “So far we have completed interviews with 10,000 residents, including 30 of the 70 homes in Fraser Health region.”

The goal is to find out if care home residents are living meaningful lives, with questions about food served, activities offered, privacy, dignity and the opportunity to make friends.

The individual residents will also be asked for the name of their most frequent visitor, who will receive a mail-in version of the survey to contribute their impressions of the care facilities to the project.

While the individual responses will be kept private, the overall results will be made public by the Seniors Advocate’s office.

The Seniors Advocate will also use these results to make recommendations to the Ministry of Health.

The project team has recruited about 500 volunteers to perform the surveys and they are now reaching out for more help.

The volunteers sign up for about 30 hours of work over six to eight weeks in their own communities, and those 30 hours include eight hours of training in administering the surveys.

Parsons is aiming to wrap up the project by this spring and welcomes inquiries from prospective volunteers. The results of the data will be released in late spring or early summer.

Information on how to become a volunteer can be found at surveybcseniors.org or by calling 1-877-952-3181.