The B.C. government is changing resident and family councils for long-term care homes with the goal of giving them more input on the issues that affect their daily lives.
The councils meet regularly to promote the collective interests of residents and discuss concerns.
They can consist of residents, family members, or other representatives acting on a resident’s behalf.
“Long-term care residences are people’s homes and it’s important that residents and family members have a place to share concerns and ideas when it comes to decisions about how the homes are operating,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
Care-home operators or licensees will be required to meet with councils at least twice a year.
The Ministry of Health is developing improved information resources for resident and family council members.
Provincial officials also said they will also be providing a description of the council’s roles and responsibilities with a focus on education, knowledge sharing and understanding residents’ rights.
Regional resident and family councils will also be set up in each health authority and there will be a provincial committee led by the Ministry of Health.
“Councils will be more active when given more administrative support from management and they will have greater representation at the local, regional and provincial levels to affect change,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care in a release.
“This will lead to a better outcome for all.”
All long-term care homes that don’t currently have a council are being encouraged by the B.C. government to establish one.
The provincial and regional councils will begin meeting in spring 2023.
– with files from Josiah Spiker, My East Kootenay Now staff