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What’s Happening in September

World Alzheimer’s Month
Arthritis Awareness Month
Labour Day (September 5)
World First Aid Day (September 8)
Grandparents Day (September 11)
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30)

Activities of the Office of the Seniors Advocate

United Nations Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on the Human Rights of Older Persons

At the end of August, the Seniors Advocate virtually attended a two-day meeting in Geneva convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The session brought together key stakeholders from around the world for a discussion on the gaps and fragmentation in the protection of the human rights of older persons as part of an initiative to secure a convention of rights.

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Canadian Coalition Against Ageism

The Seniors Advocate joined the International Longevity Centre in Ontario last month to launch the Canadian Coalition Against Ageism (CCAA). The CCAA is a comprehensive Canada-wide project to combat agism that focuses on strengthening, protecting and promoting the human rights of older adults. The event featured a presentation by Dr. Claudia Mahler, UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights of Older Persons.

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OSA Long-term Care Survey Now Underway

Surveys at long-term care homes across B.C. are now in progress. Volunteer surveyors have been busy conducting interviews with residents to learn more about the quality of life in B.C. long-term care. We are still looking for friendly, dedicated volunteers across the province, from Prince Rupert to Port Alberni. Find out more about the volunteer experience and apply now to help shape the future for seniors in long-term care.

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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 those you will be in close contact with to take a rapid test before your visit.

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COVID-19 Boosters

The Province is beginning to roll out its new COVID-19 fall booster campaign. Everyone 5 years and older is encouraged to get a fall booster at a 6-month interval from their last dose. Adults 18+ and high-risk youth aged 12-17 will be eligible to receive a new bivalent vaccine recently approved by Health Canada. Vaccination invitations will go out through the Get Vaccinated System as early as next week.

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Long-term Care Update

Most visiting restrictions have been lifted at long-term care facilities in B.C. and people who meet the visitation requirements are permitted. Visitors must provide proof of vaccination and a negative rapid antigen test, which may be taken at home up to 48 hours before the visit, or on arrival at the facility. Please review each facility’s restrictions before your visit.

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COVID-19 Restrictions

Most public health restrictions in B.C. have been lifted, including wearing masks in public indoor settings, capacity restrictions on personal gatherings, events and more. Proof of vaccination is no longer required to access most businesses, events and services.

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Provincial News

The Provincial Health Officer and the Minister of Health release regular statements that can be accessed on the BC Government News website.

Recent Announcements from the B.C. Government Impacting Seniors

August 1, 2022 Premier’s statement on B.C. Day
August 4, 2022 Construction begins on new rental homes in Langley
August 24, 2022 Strengthening patients’ access to primary care by supporting family doctors
September 1, 2022 Minister’s, provincial health officer’s statement on approval of bivalent vaccines
September 6, 2022 Fall booster doses, bivalent vaccine available soon

National News

Statements from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada releases regular statements that can be accessed on the Government of Canada News website.

Recent Announcements from the Federal Government Impacting Seniors

August 2, 2022 The Government of Canada is strengthening the delivery of the Old Age Security benefit
August 8, 2022 Government of Canada supports improving healthy living behaviours for priority populations across Canada
August 12, 2022 Statement by Minister Ien and Minister Khera on International Youth Day: Celebrating solidarity across generations
August 22, 2022 Government of Canada announces three projects in Port Coquitlam to support seniors

Current Issues and Resources

Ageism Consultation: Share your thoughts and experiences

The federal government has launched a consultation on ageism to better understand and address its negative impacts on older adults in Canada. There are several ways to participate, from hosting group discussions to sharing your opinions through their online platform.

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Wildfire Preparedness Guide

The chance of a damaging wildfire in B.C. has increased in recent years, due in part to hotter and drier summer conditions caused by climate change. This guide will help you prepare your household, protect your property and learn what to do if a wildfire is close to your community.

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Webinar Series: Mobilizing to Promote Health and Well-being for Older Adults

This month, CORE Canada will be launching a series of monthly 90-minute sessions focused on Mobilizing to Promote Health and Well-Being for Older Adults. The first three webinars run from 10-11:30 am PT:

  • September 29th: Re-orienting Health and Social Services for Older Adults: Provincial Strategies for Community-Based Seniors Services
  • October 27th: Age-friendly Communities
  • November 24th: Housing for Older Adults

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DemScape Study: Seeking participants in Prince George

Researchers at the University of Northern B.C. are looking for older adults living in the community with dementia to participate in a series of four interviews about how outdoor spaces can be made more accessible and dementia-friendly in Prince George. Each interview takes 45-60 minutes and can be done at home or a in a public place where participants feel comfortable talking. The study includes a walk-along interview, which is like a tour of a route of the participant’s choice. For more information contact Emma Rossnagel, UNBC Research Manager, at or call 250-960-5154.

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Recent Research

Community and Provider Evaluation of a Canadian Dementia Support Services Program

(Canadian Geriatrics Journal)

Community programs and services dedicated to support those living with dementia and care partners can improve their quality of life. In close collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia, we evaluated the First Link® dementia support services, aiming to identify key strengths and areas of improvements to inform the services offered.

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Can Automated Vehicles Be Useful to Persons Living With Dementia? The Perspectives of Care Partners of People Living With Dementia

(Oxford Academic: The Gerontologist)

Driving cessation is a complex challenge with significant emotional and health implications for people with dementia, which also affects their family care partners. Automated vehicles (AVs) could potentially be used to delay driving cessation and its adverse consequences for people with dementia and their care partners. Yet, no study to date has investigated whether care partners consider AVs to be potentially useful for people with dementia.

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Collecting Information on Caregivers’ Financial Well-Being: A Document Review of Federal Surveys in Canada

(SAGE Journals)

Population-based surveys conducted by governments inform strategies concerning emergent areas of policy interest. One such area is unpaid caregiving in the context of an aging population. In the Canadian and global contexts, research suggests a need for public financial support to mitigate financial risks of caregiving. In this document analysis, we reviewed 17 federal surveys since 2005 to understand how caregiving-related information is captured.

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The Impact of Pandemic Management Strategies on Staff Mental Health, Work Behaviours, and Resident Care in One Long-Term Care Facility in British Columbia: A Mixed Method Study

(Journal of Long-term Care)

Anxiety is common in long-term care (LTC), but it is unclear which anxiety detection tools are accurate when compared to a reference standard for residents of LTC. Four databases and grey literature sources were searched using the search concepts “anxiety” and “LTC”. Included studies evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of an anxiety detection tool compared to a reference standard in LTC residents.

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Are dementia services and support organisations meeting the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) caregivers of LGBT people living with dementia?

(Aging and Mental Health)

More than 60% of people with dementia live at home, where assistance is usually provided by informal caregivers. Research on the experiences of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) caregivers is limited. This scoping review of the literature synthesizes international evidence on support provision for the population of LGBT caregivers.

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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 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.