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Join the OSA Council of Advisors

Do you want to advocate for seniors in your region? Apply now to join the OSA Council of Advisors. Our Council of Advisors is an engaged and connected group of seniors 55+ that supports the office by offering perspectives of seniors from diverse backgrounds, ages, geographical areas and cultures. The application deadline has been extended to April 30, 2023.

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Seniors Advocate to Attend 13th Session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OWEGA)

OEWGA considers the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identifies possible gaps on how to best address them. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will attend the 13th Session in New York which will focus on the right to health and access to health services and social inclusion. All events can be viewed live on UN Web TV.

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National Caregivers Day 2023

April 4 is National Caregivers Day and an opportunity to highlight the immense but often unrecognized contributions of family caregivers in British Columbia and across the country.

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Long-Term Care Survey: Cantonese and Mandarin Speaking Volunteers Needed

The Long-Term Care Survey team is urgently seeking volunteers in the Lower Mainland who speak Cantonese or Mandarin. Volunteer surveyors visit care homes to have conversations with residents about their quality of life and care. Many of these residents do not speak English and either require or feel more comfortable with a volunteer who speaks their native language

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Current Issues and Resources

Tax Tips for Seniors

The annual income tax filing deadline for most Canadians is April 30, 2023. It is important to file a tax return to ensure there are no interruptions to your federal and provincial benefits and income supports. Click the link below to find out about tax credits, free tax clinics and other resources available to help seniors file their income tax returns.

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Advanced Care Planning Workshop

Advanced Care Planning Day falls on April 16. Take the opportunity to attend a virtual workshop on making plans for your future health care, having important conversations with loved ones and documenting your care decisions. This two-part workshop is offered by Victoria Hospice on April 20 and April 27, 2023.

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Seeking the Opinion of Seniors

Do you want to want to share your ideas about issues impacting B.C. seniors? There are several opportunities open for seniors to provide input on range of topics, from housing, to cancer care, to poverty reduction. Get involved today by filling out a survey, attending an event, or participating in a virtual town hall.

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Improving Digital Literacy Skills

Throughout the month, Women’s Age Lab and Seniors Tech Services will be hosting a series of free virtual webinars to help older adults develop their digital literacy skills. Join in to learn about diverse topics, such as iPad tips and tricks, or identifying online scams. Webinars will be offered at various times between March 20 and April 27, 2023

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COVID-19 Boosters and Flu Shots

The Province is rolling out a spring COVID-19 vaccination booster campaign starting in early April. The spring booster will be offered to people in long-term care, seniors 80 years and older, Indigenous seniors 70 years and older, and people who are immunocompromised. Eligible individuals who received their last dose six months ago will receive invitation via the Get Vaccinated System.

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COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests

Free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are available to people of all ages at B.C. pharmacies. No ID is required. If you are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, please consider asking people you will be in close contact with to take a rapid test before your visit.

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Provincial News

Recent Announcements from the B.C. Government Impacting Seniors

March 1, 2023 Premier’s, ministers’ statement about Government of Canada’s funding for health care
March 8, 2023 Premier’s, parliamentary secretary’s statement on International Women’s Day
March 10, 2023 New affordable rental homes coming to Tofino
March 10, 2023 Provincial health officer’s, minister’s statement about spring COVID-19 boosters
March 15, 2023 B.C. supports stable, expanded transit services in Metro Vancouver
March 16, 2023 Stronger services on the way for northern communities
March 16, 2023 More than 300 new long-term care beds coming to Colwood
March 20, 2023 New seniors’ housing redevelopment coming to Cloverdale
March 22, 2023 New long-term care home coming to Vancouver
March 22, 2023 1 Province improves inclusion, accessibility in B.C. parks
March 22, 2023 Homes open soon for seniors displaced by flooding in Princeton

National News

Recent Announcements from the Federal Government Impacting Seniors

March 28, 2023 Budget 2023 – A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future
March 27, 2023 Minister Khera to participate in the 13th Session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing
March 23, 2023 Government of Canada launches call for applications for the National Advisory Council on Poverty
March 20, 2023 National Seniors Council launches consultations on Aging at Home
March 16, 2023 Government of Canada announces $38.3M research investment to support brain health

Recent Research

Baseline Report for the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021−2030

(World Health Organization)

This report introduces the Decade’s five key issues and provides an introduction to Healthy Ageing, the Decade’s actions and enablers, and a pathway to accelerate impact by 2030.

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Trends in Health Service Use for Canadian Adults With Dementia and Parkinson Disease During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

(JAMA Health Forum )

In this population-based repeated cross-sectional analysis, large declines in hospital use and nursing home admission were experienced across all cohorts. After the first wave, most services returned to historical levels, with physician visits elevated and mostly virtual, nursing home admissions reduced, and excess all-cause mortality.

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Family Physicians’ Perspectives on Advanced Care Planning in Community Dwelling Elderly Patients

(Canadian Family Physicians)

The objective of this review was to explore family physicians’ self-perceived role in advance care planning (ACP) for community-dwelling elderly patients, including the who, what, when, where, why, and how factors associated with having ACP discussions.

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Outreach by the OSA

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie continues to meet with seniors across the province, attend events and deliver presentations both in person and virtually. If you would like to invite her to present at your event, please contact our office at .

The Office of the Seniors Advocate has an information and referral line that is available 24 hours a day, every day. Our senior service specialists will work with you during our office hours to provide resources and help resolve issues. Staff at BC211 will assist after hours