Family and resident advocate Kim Slater retires from role as chair of Family Councils of BC

After more than twenty years of work dedicated to strengthening the long-term care sector, Kim Slater has announced that he will be retiring from his role as Chair of the Family Councils of BC.

BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) has had many opportunities to work with Mr. Slater over the years. In March 2021, Kim participated on a BCCPA panel discussion on the resources available to long-term care and assisted living staff so they can better support family caregivers. He worked closely with BCCPA in developing a special Care to Chattitled Family Ties: Meaningfully Engaging Family and Resident Councils. In addition, Slater participated on the advisory group for the development of a soon-to-be-released guide for care providers on family and resident councils.

“My mother entered long-term care in 2001 and I was soon struck by three realities. First, that there is a huge learning curve for every friend or family member who was trying to help their loved one navigate successfully through long term care. Second, that in my mother’s long-term care home there was not an effective opportunity for friends and family members to learn from each other. And thirdly, that there was no opportunity for the collective voice of family or friends of residents to express their viewpoints around decisions made in the care home, by the Health Authority or by the Ministry of Health,” says Slater.

After a few organizational meetings, we established an independent family council, which I chaired for many years at my mother’s care home. We typically had between 25-30 volunteer members in the council. We worked to support and inform loved ones of residents in care and focused our attention on promoting quality of care and quality of life for residents,” he adds.

Learning from that experience, and convinced of the importance of the collective voice, Kim collaborated with several Victoria based advocates and together, they went on to establish the Vancouver Island Association of Family Councils.  Following that, Kim became the founding Chair of the Family Councils of BC.

“My ultimate hope is that through the work done by Family Councils of BC, the collaborative role for independent family councils and regional associations and Family Councils of BC is formally acknowledged, supported and guaranteed by health officials,” says Slater.

The team at BC Care Providers Association thanks Kim for his years of selfless dedication in support of families and residents at our care homes. We look forward to continuing our collaborations with Family Councils of BC under its new leadership.