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Activities of the Office of the Seniors Advocate

Seniors Advocate to Speak at North Shore Seniors’ Health Expo

Isobel Mackenzie will be a keynote speaker at the North Shore Seniors’ Health Expo in West Vancouver on September 8, 2023. The goal of this free event is to provide useful information for seniors, family members and caregivers, as well as highlight opportunities and services for seniors living on the North Shore and in Vancouver. The event will feature exhibitors, innovative speakers and researchers focusing on cognitive, physical, social and financial well-being for seniors.

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Long-Term Care Review to be Released End of September

At the end of September, the Office of the Seniors Advocate will release a second provincial review of the contracted long-term care sector in B.C. The report examines industry contracts, annual audited financial statements and financial oversight in one of the largest contracted sectors within government. The release of the report and presentation by Isobel Mackenzie will be livestreamed on the OSA YouTube channel. Stay tuned to OSA social media channels for more information later in the month.

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Thank You Volunteer Surveyors!

The OSA Long-Term Care Survey wrapped up over the past month thanks to our province-wide team of nearly 500 Volunteer Surveyors. They collectively contributed over 18,000 hours of volunteer work and interviewed over 29,000 residents in 297 care homes across British Columbia. The results of the Long-Term Care Survey will be published in a report scheduled to be released in November.

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OSA in the Community

In August our office had the opportunity to attend the 47th BC Annual Elders Gathering, the first after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The Elders Gathering has traditionally been a time for people to make connections and exchange memories and knowledge. Our staff members were honoured to attend and gain new perspectives from B.C. elders.

The Seniors Advocate was pleased to speak at a North Shore Volunteers for Seniors high tea celebrating the seniors centre and its volunteers. The Centre has been serving seniors in the North Shore since 1961.

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Current Issues and Resources

Wildfire Preparedness and Safety

Wildfires are spreading in B.C. and some communities are under evacuation orders, evacuation alerts or travel restrictions. Seniors can be more vulnerable to effects of wildfires and should take extra precautions at this time. Please monitor appropriate channels for the latest updates on wildfire activity and safety.

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New Horizons for Seniors Funding Applications Closing Soon

Does your organization offer services or programs that benefit seniors? Consider applying for funding through the federal government New Horizons for Seniors Program. This initiative provides grant funding of up to $25,000 for community-based projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors. Eligible organizations have until September 14, 2023, to apply.

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Free Webinar: Benefits and Credits for Adults 65 Years and Older

Does your organization offer services or programs that benefit seniors? Consider applying for funding through the federal government New Horizons for Seniors Program. This initiative provides grant funding of up to $25,000 for community-based projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors. Eligible organizations have until September 14, 2023, to apply.

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Federal Government Seeks Applicants for the National Seniors Council

The Government of Canada is recruiting candidates with expertise and experience working with older adults or on population aging issues to fill vacancies on the National Seniors Council. Apply by October 3, 2023.

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Provincial News

Recent Announcements from the B.C. Government Impacting Seniors

August 2, 2023 Plan ahead, be ready for wildfire risks this long weekend
August 2, 2023 B.C. preserves affordable seniors housing in Vancouver
August 2, 2023 Vernon seniors moving into new affordable homes
August 4, 2023 Province protecting seniors through education, awareness
August 12, 2023 People encouraged to prepare for heat warnings
August 16, 2023 New affordable seniors’ housing breaks ground in Delta
August 17, 2023 Victoria seniors benefit from renovated homes
August 17, 2023 Preparing for extreme fire conditions
August 18, 2023 Stronger services will support healthy communities in northern B.C.
August 18, 2023 Premier’s statement on B.C. wildfires
August 20, 2023 Poor air quality from wildfires increases health risks to vulnerable people
August 20, 2023 Emergency Support Services available for wildfire evacuees
August 24, 2023 More people will get nutritious food with new funding
August 25, 2023 More Surrey-Delta seniors get better access to service
August 28, 2023 Thousands of new affordable homes coming for renters
August 29, 2023 New homes open for seniors, people with disabilities in Nanaimo

National News

Recent Announcements from the Federal Government Impacting Seniors

August 23, 2023 Government of Canada seeks applicants for National Seniors Council

Recent Research

Independent Senior Centres: Connecting and Supporting Older Adults in Metro Vancouver

(Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University)

As our population ages and becomes more diverse, the health and social needs of older British Columbians are becoming more fluid and complex. Senior centres play an important role in providing health promotion programs, social services, and recreational activities that enhance the health and wellbeing of community-dwelling older adults.

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Wildfires and Older Adults: A Scoping Review of Impacts, Risks, and Interventions

(International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health))

Climate change is leading to worsening disasters that disproportionately impact older adults. While research has begun to measure disparities, there is a gap in examining wildfire-specific disasters. To address this gap, this scoping review analyzed literature to explore the nexus of wildfires and older adults.

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Validity and Accuracy of the Tilburg Frailty Indicator Part B for Identification of Frailty in Older Adults Consulting a Rural Geriatric Medicine Clinic

(Cambridge University Press)

This study provides evidence to support the use of Tilburg Frailty Indicator Part B (TFI-B) to determine frailty in older adults in a North American context. The results show that the TFI-B can be used as a quick screening tool to determine frailty, given its lower administration burden compared with the Fried’s Frailty Phenotype (FFP). Clinicians should use a score of < 5 on the TFI-B to rule out frailty, given its high negative predictive value (91.95%).

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Outreach by the OSA

BC 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 .

Please note Isobel has announced she will retire after March 31, 2024, therefore our office is not accepting invitations for events after this date at this time.

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.

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