Edition: May 2012
May 29, 2012
Volume 3, Issue 1
Seniors' Advocate Consultations
How could an Office of the Seniors’ Advocate help seniors in British Columbia? We want to hear from you.
Public consultations are being held in communities around the province:
May 29 - Victoria
June 1 - Surrey
June 4 - Vancouver
June 5 - Vancouver
June 8 - Abbotsford
June 11 - Parksville
June 20 - Kelowna
June 22 - Cranbrook
June 25 - Prince George
June 27 - Dawson Creek
To RSVP for one of these meetings, please call toll-free 1 855 356-9614 or email SeniorsAdvocate@gov.bc.ca – space is limited. For those unable to attend a session, we invite you to consider the questions in a discussion paper, which is available on the SeniorsBC website, and send us your ideas. We also encourage interested organizations to share the paper with their networks and make a submission.
Please send written input to:
Seniors Action Plan
Ministry of Health
PO Box 9825, STN PROV GOV
Victoria, BC V8W 9W4
Or by email: SeniorsAdvocate@gov.bc.ca
The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2012.
You can also join the discussion about seniors on the ThinkHealthBC website.
Advance Care Planning Resources
By planning ahead, you have a voice in your future health care decisions.
Visit the SeniorsBC website to access tools and resources to help you create an Advance Care Plan:
• Planning Guide and workbook
• Advance Care Planning videos (in English, and with Punjabi or Simplified Chinese subtitles)
• Advance Care Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have questions about B.C.’s advance care planning tools or resources, please email: AdvanceCarePlanning BC@gov.bc.ca
Visit the HealthLink BC website to read about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), kidney dialysis, advance care planning and end-of-life care.
If you’re having difficulty finding B.C.’s Advance Care Planning tools and resources, call HealthLink BC (toll-free) at 8-1-1.
Betty Pattinson’s Advance Care Plan
BURNS LAKE -- When she got a pacemaker in 2006, Betty Pattinson decided, right then and there, that she wanted to put plans in place. At the time she didn’t think of it as advance care planning.
“All I knew was that I didn’t want to be a burden to my kids. I didn’t want them to have to sit there and watch me being kept alive.”
Do you want to learn more about the changes going on in B.C.’s health care system and the Ministry of Health’s strategy for sustainable health care?
Would you like to participate in an online dialogue with the Ministry and other British Columbians about health care in B.C.?
Now you can, by visiting the Ministry of Health’s new interactive online resource, ThinkHealthBC, which was launched April 4, 2012.
ThinkHealthBC was developed to engage British Columbians in a new way of thinking about B.C.’s health care system.
Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan
Please visit www.SeniorsBC.ca to read Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan, and for periodic updates on our progress toward implementing the plan.
Message from the Parliamentary Secretary
Seniors, their families, and their care providers have expressed their views about the future of seniors’ care in B.C. and we have listened. Our new seniors action plan, Improving Care for B.C. Seniors, was informed by what we heard from you, and what we heard from the Provincial Ombudsperson in her report on seniors’ care. The Action Plan establishes priority goals focused on ensuring consistent and fair delivery of care, on helping seniors and their families access information about care options, and on providing ways to report concerns about seniors’ quality of life – including the establishment of a seniors’ advocate.
In April, we met the first of many action plan commitments when we released a combined advance care planning guide, workbook and videos, to help guide British Columbians through the advance care planning process. These new resources explain your options for making your wishes for future health care treatment known to loved ones and health care providers. In this edition of the SeniorsBC e-Newsletter, you will find more information about the steps in advance care planning as well as the tools and forms available to help you make your own advance care plan.
The health care system is complex and ever changing, but working together is the best way forward. That’s why we’re reaching out to you and all British Columbians to ask for input on the Seniors Action Plan. One of the best places to do so is ThinkHealth BC, a website devoted to showing and sharing health change in motion. Join us there or simply send an email with your thoughts to SeniorsActionPlan@gov.bc.ca.
Consultations to inform the role of the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate will take place over the next two months. A list of community consultations and information on where to send your written submission is included in this e-Newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you!
With your help, we are working to implement a more accessible, transparent and accountable approach to seniors’ care.
Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health
Protecting Vulnerable Seniors
Improving Care for B.C. Seniors: An Action Plan includes a commitment to ensure the protection and safety of seniors through the development of a provincial elder abuse prevention, identification and response strategy by December 2012.
To help inform the development of the strategy and to identify priority action areas, Government invited community experts across the province to take part in regional consultations in February and March 2012. Consultations included various sectors (health, legal/justice, finance, education), as well as Aboriginal, multicultural, community-based, and senior-serving organizations. For more information on elder abuse prevention, visit the ‘preventing elder abuse and neglect’ pages on SeniorsBC.ca.
The action plan also includes a commitment to establish a new Office of the Seniors’ Advocate. The consultations to inform the role of the Office of the Seniors’ Advocate will take place over the next two months. Seniors, caregivers, service providers and other organizations in a number of communities across the province will be invited to provide input into the creation of this new Office. Government is requesting written submissions from everyone who would like to contribute. The first page of this e-Newsletter includes information on community consultations and how to provide a written submission on the role of the seniors’ advocate.
Age-friendly BC grants and videos
Seniors in every region of B.C. will benefit as 52 local governments receive age-friendly grants to support older residents in staying healthy and active in the community.
One element of Age-friendly BC is a partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) to provide grants of up to $20,000 to local governments, through UBCM’s age-friendly planning and project grant program. These planning and project grants help establish or continue a variety of projects, from improved transportation options for seniors to community gardens.
Also, a new video series highlights age-friendly actions, such as affordable housing or welcoming public spaces for seniors, from Lumby, Revelstoke, Saanich, Sechelt,
Abbotsford, Richmond, Vancouver and the North Shore. To see the videos and learn more about Age-friendly BC, visit the SeniorsBC website.
Alcohol and Aging: Know the Facts
Did you know that as we age, our bodies process alcohol more slowly, and become more sensitive to the effects of alcohol?
The Province recently released a brochure and web-based information, available on the SeniorsBC website, to explain why age plays a role in how alcohol is processed and to provide guidance on low-risk drinking for seniors. Alcohol can cause a number of health problems.
Too much alcohol can contribute to chronic diseases, including cancer and some heart conditions. Almost half of all prescription drugs taken by older people can interact with alcohol and even the smallest amount of alcohol may negatively impact the effectiveness of medications.
Being aware is the first step in self care. Here’s to your health!
“I’ve made a living will, so do I have to do an advance care plan?”
New incapacity (or personal) planning laws came into force in B.C. on September 1, 2011, providing adults with more options to express their wishes and instructions for their future health care treatment. Your advance care plan may now include an Advance Directive which gives your instructions directly to your health care provider for the health care treatment you agree to, or refuse, in the event you are incapable of deciding when the care is needed. No one is asked to make a health care decision for you when your Advance Directive addresses the care you need.