Activities of the Office of the Seniors Advocate
Celebrate BC Seniors’ Week! June 4 to 10, 2023
Please join us in celebrating the many contributions seniors make every day in this province. Take some time to connect with your parents, grandparents, older friends and neighbours – you will be glad you did
Seniors’ Week Town Halls
Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will be connecting in person with seniors and their loved ones, seniors’ organizations and local government throughout B.C. Join her at public town halls in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops or Williams Lake to share ideas about improving the lives of seniors in your community.
Seniors Advocate Announces Retirement
BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie has advised government she will retire on March 31, 2024, and to begin the process of finding her successor.
Spring Meeting of the OSA Council of Advisors
The OSA Council of Advisors met in Richmond last month to discuss transportation challenges for B.C. seniors and innovations in long-term care. Thank you to Health Minister Adrian Dix and Parliamentary Secretary Harwinder Sandhu for attending the event and recognizing three retiring members of our council: Bernice Magee, Joe Forsyth and Alfred Woo. We wish them all the best and will miss their contributions.
OSA Long-Term Care Survey: Giving a Voice to the Vulnerable
Over the past nine months, volunteer surveyors, many of whom are seniors themselves, have collectively approached nearly 23,000 residents living in long-term care to listen to their experiences of living in a care home. We thank our surveyors for their effort, dedication, and for giving their time so freely to connect with seniors across the province.
Current Issues and Resources
Struggling Senior Homeowners Encouraged to Defer Property Taxes
BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is urging senior homeowners struggling with the rising costs of living and aging to consider deferring their 2023 property taxes.
Federal Government Grocery Rebate
The one-time grocery rebate announced in the 2023 federal budget will land in bank accounts of eligible Canadians starting on July 5, 2023. Eligible seniors will receive $225 on average. The rebate will be delivered or deposited automatically with the July GST credit payment and there is no need to apply.
Celebrating Intergenerational Connections
Intergenerational Day, celebrated on June 1, reminds us of the benefits that come with building relationships and connections across the generations. We all have something we can learn from and teach to people from other generations. Click below to find out about intergenerational activities and ongoing programs in your area.
National Webinar for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Join this free online event that brings together a panel of experts, political figures and advocates to discuss how Canada can end elder abuse and protect the rights of older people.
COVID-19 Boosters and Flu Shots
The Province is continuing to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination booster campaign. Boosters are currently being 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.
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.
Long-Term Care update
Visitor restrictions at long-term care and assisted living sites have been lifted, including proof of vaccination, rapid antigen testing and universal mask wearing.
Recent Announcements from the B.C. Government Impacting Seniors
Recent Announcements from the Federal Government Impacting Seniors
Aging with Dignity: 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors in British Columbia
(Dignity Seniors Society)
An unprecedented number of out 2SLGBTQI+ seniors in Canada are reaching a stage in their lives where they will need increased access to health and social services, access to culturally competent home care to age in place, and access to welcoming or dedicated assisted living, senior care, dementia care, or hospice facilities. This population is affected by concerns about safety and discrimination, particularly in age cohorts who were disproportionately affected by systemic discrimination.
The Canadian approach to elder financial abuse from a legal and clinical perspective: A narrative review
Elder financial abuse is a growing problem, with significant consequences for society. It is unclear if differences exist in the clinical and legal approach to financial abuse across Canada, thus the purpose of this review.
Violence against seniors and their perceptions of safety in Canada
Overall, older Canadians are aging better, are more active and are engaging in fuller lifestyles than previous generations. At the same time, however, they remain at risk of experiencing violence at the hands of family members, intimate partners, friends, caregivers and others.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.