On New Years Eve 2021, visitation restrictions were reinstated in long-term care and assisted living homes across the province, following a surge in COVID-19 cases. This decision resulted in many residents and family members expressing concern about how their voices were incorporated in decision making.
In January 2023, BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) released Supporting an Active Partnership: A Service Provider’s Guide to Family & Resident Councils, a new guide which is intended to share learnings and best practices for supporting long-term care operators in the development and continuation of resident and family councils. Councils can ensure that input and feedback occurs in a meaningful, respectful, and timely way.
The release of the guide follows an announcement by the Province that they had revised regulations to strengthen the support and oversight of resident and family councils.
“Each day, we make choices about our routines, surroundings, and activities. When a transition to long-term care becomes necessary, the opportunity for feedback does not become less important,” says Terry Lake, CEO, BCCPA.
“As we begin to rebuild from the devastating impacts which COVID-19 had on care homes, we have an opportunity to recommit our sector’s commitment to truly hearing the voices of residents and families,” he says.
The guidance offered in the document developed by BCCPA is rooted in the perspective that residents can and should contribute to their care and quality of life by sharing their concerns, ideas, and perspectives, and that family, friends and other representatives are central to the delivery of person directed care.
“BCCPA is incredibly appreciative of the input, feedback, and expertise of the exemplary advisory committee which contributed to the development of this work, and we hope that this work will benefit long-term care residents and the people who support them,” says Lake.
The guide can be downloaded here.