Big Brother in Seniors Care: Another Sell Out Success!

BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) held its second Care to Chat speaker session on January 22, 2014 at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. Over 150 people were in attendance to hear remarks by Deputy Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy, who opened with the striking comparison of technology and spandex, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Also among the crowd was Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootney West and opposition critic for Seniors and Long Term Care.

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Deputy Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy offering final remarks from the floor.

CKNW radio talk show host Bill Good moderated the expert panel of Professor Benjamin Goold, Associate Dean, UBC Faculty of Law; Don MacAlister, Vice-President of Healthcare & Institutional Security, Paladin Security Ltd.; Paul Pulver, Lawyer, Coutts Pulver LLP; and Micheal Vonn, Policy Director, BC Civil Liberties Association.

Right from the start the panel addressed the benefits and concerns of using surveillance technology in care homes and where lines should be drawn. Professor Goold, an expert on privacy rights and the use of surveillance technologies, suggested we first pause and ask ourselves, “Why is privacy valuable?” The difficulty in answering this seemingly simple question illustrated the complexity of the issue. This question becomes even more uncertain when residents are relying on others to make privacy decisions for them. Adding to the commentary, Paul Pulver, a labour and employment law expert, explained how care homes must ask the question, “Do we have a reason to justify video surveillance in our facility? And if so, what level of surveillance is needed?”

Yesterday’s event was the second installment of the Care to Chat speakers series, which launched last year. As the second sell out for the series, Care to Chat has demonstrated the interest and need to have stakeholders come together to discuss challenging issues. “We have had terrific feedback on Care to Chat thus far,” says Daniel Fontaine, CEO of the BCCPA. “It offers a valuable platform to discuss pressing issues in long term care.”

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The crowd poses questions to the panel

In addition to key business leaders and care providers, audience members represented a variety of stakeholders, including search and rescue team members, security experts and legal professionals. “We started Care to Chat to bring together experts on current and emerging topics in the seniors care sector, and that’s what we did yesterday,” says Heather Campbell, BCCPA Director of Policy and Research. “We are moving into an era where surveillance and tracking is becoming more prevalent and easier to use. With that, we need to find a balance between surveillance and ensuring privacy and dignity are respected.”


Leading up to Care to Chat, the BCCPA hit the streets in search of local community members’ and staff views about surveillance technology in seniors care:


The third Care to Chat will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 in Vancouver. The topic is Please Knock Before Entering: Intimacy & Sexuality in Care Homes. The session will feature Maureen McGrath, host of CKNW’s Sunday Night Sex Show.

The panelists will discuss strategies for supporting safe and consensual sexual relationships in care homes, particularly situations involving residents with dementia. They will also address strategies for recognizing and responding to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

For more information on the next Care to Chat, please click below:

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The 2013/14 Care to Chat speakers series would not be possible without the generous financial support of its sponsors: Medical Pharmacies, Rexall Specialty Pharmacy, and Coutts Pulver LLP.

We look forward to seeing you on April 8th!


For a recap of media coverage on the Jan. 22 event and topic, make sure to click on the links below:

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Heather Campbell, Director of Policy and Research with the BCCPA, sits down with Bill Good to discuss technology in seniors care on the CKNW Bill Good Show. Also joining them were Care to Chat panelists Don MacAlister, Vice-President of Healthcare & Institutional Security, Paladin Security Ltd. and Paul Pulver, Lawyer, Coutts Pulver LLP.


Rick Cluff

Security cameras and GPS tracking: should we be employing all measures necessary to keep seniors safe?  Rick Cluff of CBC’s The Early Edition speaks with Micheal Vonn from the BC Civil Liberties Association about the privacy concerns around senior surveillance.


Anna Tremonte

Care to Chat panelists Don MacAlister, Vice-President of Healthcare & Institutional Security, Paladin Security Ltd. and Micheal Vonn, Policy Director at the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, join Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC’s The Current to discuss surveillance in seniors homes.


focus-on-healthcare_10As the largest provider of healthcare security services in Canada, Paladin Security offers important insight into the discussion. Care to Chat panelist and Paladin Security Vice President of Healthcare, Don MacAlister adds to the conversation on the Paladin Security blog. Be sure to read his commentary here

The issues discussed – including the use of security cameras in long-term care, both in public areas as well as “hidden” cameras in patient rooms – are huge, all-encompassing topics with many different layers that require vastly different approaches. For instance, GPS-like patient tracking devices are seen by some as necessary, and by others as intruding on individual rights and the dignity and privacy of the resident.”


Big Brother is watching: Use of tracking technology for seniors under debate in B.C.

1-vancouver-sun-logoOutfitting seniors in long-term care homes with GPS tracking bracelets and installing CCTV cameras could help protect patients with dementia from wandering but it also raises serious privacy concerns.

Daphne Bramham: Balance must be found between privacy and protection

It’s for good reason that among the greatest fears of growing old are the loss of privacy and losing control over your life.


175px-CBC_News_Logo.svgSurveillance of B.C. seniors raising privacy concerns

A B.C. lawyer and privacy advocate is raising questions about the ways CCTV cameras and other technologies are being used to keep track of seniors.

Vie privée : quelles limites à la surveillance des personnes âgées ?

Certaines technlogies, comme les bracelets électroniques et les caméras de sécurité, sont devenues répandues dans les maisons de soins et les domiciles des personnes âgées, a rapporté un vice-président de l’entreprise Paladin Security, Don MacAlister.





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