Vancouver Island the final stop for CEO Listening Tour

The BCCPA’s province-wide CEO Listening Tour has now wrapped up after Daniel Fontaine held a series of meetings on Vancouver Island this week. Fontaine was in Parksville, Nanaimo, Victoria and Sydney to meet with members to discuss their concerns and explore opportunities to expand BCCPA programs and services.

“It’s been a great tour and I couldn’t think of a better way to close it off than holding a thought-provoking roundtable discussion with our Victoria area home care members,” says Fontaine. “I certainly learned a lot regarding what the BCCPA could be doing over the coming years to further support the delivery of quality care to BC’s seniors”.

The CEO Listening Tour was hosted by Shoal Centre which is operated by Beacon Community Services in Sydney, B.C. Shoal Centre offers both independent living and assisted living.

On Wednesday, Fontaine started the day with a roundtable hosted by Sue Aberman from Kiwanis Village in Nanaimo. The discussion focused on a number of key issues including direct care hours, equipment purchases and the important need to develop and implement an industry-led human resource strategy.

“There are definitely some unique challenges facing care providers in smaller communities like Nanaimo and Parksville,” says Fontaine. “Once again, I heard loud and clear that Vancouver-based solutions don’t always work in rural B.C. and in smaller towns and cities. We also need to think out of the box and work as a sector to develop the solutions we need to train, recruit and retain the workforce we need now and over the next decade.”

Coincidentally, Statistics Canada released a major report this week which highlighted the fact there are now more seniors living in Canada than there are children under the age of 14. This report triggered a flurry of media requests for the BCCPA to provide its perspective including a major story featured on Global BC news.

Fontaine also met with the Board of Directors at Arrowsmith Lodge to discuss the opportunity of welcoming them into the BCCPA family as a member. Arrowsmith Lodge is located in Parksville and is operated by a non-profit society which offers both complex care and assisted living services.

The Lodge at Broadmead played host to the CEO Listening Tour this week

On Thursday two separate meetings were held with residential care and home care providers. During the home care session a number of issues were discussed including the need to provide care providers with greater access to technology such as iPads, home health and electronic medical records. It was also felt that technology could play an important role in connecting the home care worker with more senior clinical staff.

Several members commented that technology could play an important role in helping to connect their care aides and make them feel part of something larger – especially given the fact they spend more time in a vehicle and visiting clients than they do interacting with their colleagues.

There was also deep concern expressed regarding how the flawed BC Care Aide Registry continues to actively limit the number of people who can be approved as care aides at a time when there are jobs going unfilled across the province.

“I heard a lot about how family members are struggling with “caregiver burnout” when they are sandwiched between taking care of their elderly parents and their kids at the same time,” remarks Fontaine. “We must do a better job of ensuring assessments are done in a timely manner. By doing so, we’d ensure that seniors are getting the care they need, and that their family members are not negatively impacted as well.”

The CEO Listening Tour visited the Kootenays, Okanagan and Vancouver Island over the last month. A final report summarizing the findings from the Listening Tour will be provided to the BCCPA Board of Directors at their annual retreat in June.

“Let me say thank you to everyone who participated in the Listening Tour and took the time out of their busy schedule to meet with me over the last few weeks,” says Fontaine. “It was very rewarding to see the kind of dedication and commitment to excellence we have within our membership across B.C. I’m looking forward to working with our membership over the coming years to implement our Strategic Plan and taking the many of the ideas and concepts I heard off the drawing board and turn them into reality.”