Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

Seniors advocate to host Nelson town hall meeting

Provincial advocate Isobel Mackenzie wants to know the concerns of Nelson seniors.

 

BC’s seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie is inviting seniors and their family members in the Nelson area to meet with her on Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.. at the Best Western Baker St. Inn.

She will discuss her role and the activities her office currently has underway, including a recent report and recommendations for system improvements relating to seniors’ housing in BC, as well as a recent report on caregiver distress highlighting the fact that one-third of BC caregivers are in distress and more respite services are needed in the province.

Mackenzie will also discuss upcoming surveys of home support and residential care her office will be conducting, the first time in BC that all individuals receiving these publicly funded services will be surveyed. She will also talk about her office’s ongoing monitoring activities of key seniors’ services. The audience is invited to participate in questions and discussion.

“This is part of my on-going commitment to engage with seniors, in the communities where they live, to participate in a conversation about improving the lives of seniors in BC,” said Mackenzie. “Please come and share what is working, and what is not working, for seniors in Nelson.”

The Office of the Seniors Advocate is an independent office of the provincial government with a mandate of monitoring and analyzing systemic issues that affect BC seniors.

It was established by the provincial government as part of the Seniors’ Action Plan, a strategy to address the needs and issues of BC’s growing seniors’ population.

The Seniors Advocate Act was passed in 2013. In March 2014, Mackenzie was appointed the first seniors advocate.

She has over 20 years’ experience working with seniors in home care, licensed care, community services and volunteer services. She led BC’s largest not-for-profit agency, serving over 6,000 seniors annually.

In this work, Mackenzie led the implementation of a new model of dementia care that has become a national best practice, and led the first safety accreditation for homecare workers, among many other accomplishments.

She has been widely recognized for her work and was named BC CEO of the Year for the not-for-profit sector and nominated as a Provincial Health Care Hero.

Prior to her appointment as the seniors advocate, she served on a number of national and provincial boards and commissions.

Isobel received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Victoria and has a Certificate in Health Care Leadership from the University of Toronto. Isobel lives in Victoria with her husband and they have two children attending university.

Key functions of the Office of the Seniors Advocate include:

1. Monitoring and analysis: The advocate is responsible for monitoring the provision of seniors’ services in the areas of health, personal services, housing, transportation, and income supports. The office will monitor through data analysis, surveys, consultation and input from seniors and their families.

2. Information and referrals: The office provides information to seniors and members of the public about seniors’ services. The office refers individual complaints to the appropriate person or body for resolution and will track the issues raised by individuals and stakeholders, which may become topics for review.

3. Examining issues of importance: The office works in the best interest of seniors by identifying, analyzing and promoting awareness of systemic challenges, and finding solutions to these

challenges.

4. Recommendations: The office makes recommendations through direct advisories to service providers and stakeholders; public statements and reports on specific topics; and mandated formal reports to the minister.

Visit seniorsadvocatebc.ca, call 1-877-952-3181 toll-free (in Victoria: 250-952-3181) for information and referral from seniors’ service analysts or email info@seniorsadvocatebc.ca.