Panelists & moderator announced for #CaretoChat on social isolation

BCCPA recently selected the topic of seniors’ social isolation for the third and final Care to Chat for the 2017/18 season, through a vote of our members. We are now excited to announce our distinguished panel and award-winning moderator who will tackle this timely and complex subject.

The Care to Chat titled Suffering in Silence–Solving Seniors Isolation in B.C. will take place on Friday, March 2nd, 2018 at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver, and feature leading continuing care experts from B.C.

“We’re glad to have such an experienced panel dive into what is a complex and serious issue facing seniors today,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine. “We are also delighted that veteran journalist Charmaine de Silva (980 CKNW) will moderate, given her award-winning reports on the topic of social isolation. I expect that this group will bring forward compelling solutions to combat loneliness among seniors, and discuss ways to improve their quality of life.”

Panel and moderator bios

The BCCPA is pleased to announce the following panelists for the Spring 2018 Care to Chat:

Kristine Theurer, Founder/President of Java Group Programs

Kristine Theurer is a researcher who pioneered the use of standardized peer support programs in senior living. She is a published author of several research articles, the most recent called “The Need for a Social Revolution in Residential Care” in the Journal of Aging Studies.

Kristine leads training workshops for staff working in health care in Canada and the US, and presents regularly at international conferences.

She has received numerous research awards including grants from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the UBC Public Scholars Initiative, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Andrew Wister, Director of the Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University

Andrew Wister an internationally recognized expert on aging research, issues, policies and training. He is currently Chair of the National Seniors Council of Canada.

His extensive research career has produced over 150 publications—over 75 highly cited peer-reviewed articles, 12 books, text-books, monographs, reports and conference presentations.

Andrew is currently the lead on the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging (CLSA) SFU Data Collection Site at Surrey Campus, and the CLSA SFU Computer Assisted Telephone Interview site at Vancouver Campus. He is also collaborating on the 5-year SFU Community Trust Fund Endowment (CTEF) LivWell grant entitled “Using a Systems Analytic Approach to Living with Chronic Diseases.”

Grace Balbutin, Director of Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL), Seniors First BC

Prior to joining Seniors First BC (formerly known as BC CEAS), Grace was the Legal Advocate at the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, assisting immigrants working under the federal live-in caregiver program in their employment and immigration issues. Grace’s diverse work experiences include working for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society, and BC 211.

Grace volunteers as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at the Vancouver Cross Cultural Seniors Network. She was also a volunteer member of the Seniors Advisory Committee of the City Of Vancouver from 2009 to 2011.

Barb Maclean, Executive Director, BC Family Caregivers Network

Barb has over 30 years’ experience in non-profit, government and private sectors. She spent many years in the developmental disabilities field, specializing in supporting some of the most complex and challenging individuals living at home, in residential care, and in school settings.

Barb knows firsthand what it’s like to juggle work, a young family and care-giving—she supported her family during her own mother’s fight with cancer. She is committed to influencing change to achieve recognition and support for family caregivers.

Charmaine de Silva (Moderator), News Director, News 1130 Radio

A passionate storyteller, Charmaine has recently accepted the role of News Director at News 1130 Radio. For several years, she has been leading one of Canada’s most productive and innovative newsrooms at 980 CKNW Radio. She has been recognized for her investigative journalism, more recently for uncovering major violations of Vancouver’s short-term rental rules by several developers and for highlighting gaps in BC’s family justice system.

As a reporter, Charmaine has long followed developments in seniors care. However, she took a particular interest after the 2015 wind storm impacted her West End neighbourhood, leaving a number of seniors stranded in their apartments. It led to a series of reports shedding light on the challenges seniors face living alone, which was recognized with a national RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association) award for best radio feature reporting.

Charmaine lives in Vancouver’s West End with her partner, teenage son and toddler daughter. Like many British Columbians, she juggles caring for her young family and her aging parents, one of whom has Alzheimer’s.


This is the final Care to Chat of the 2017/18 season.

Friday March 2nd 2018
Terminal City Club
11:30 am – 2:00 pm

Click here to register before February 23 2018.

The SafeCare BC Annual General Meeting immediately precedes this event from 10:00 – 11:00 am. Click here to register.

We are pleased to partner with the BC Lower Mainland Chapter of the Canadian College of Health Leaders for this event.

MOC Category I Credits

Attendance at this program entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE / Fellow) to 1.5 Category I credits toward their maintenance of certification requirement.

Thank you to our Care to Chat sponsors.