Annual Report of the Office of the Seniors Advocate 2021/2022

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Office of the Seniors Advocate British Columbia
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The 2021/22 Annual Report covers the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although our office continues to manage our day-to-day activities under the public health protocols, contact with the public and calls to our Information and Referral line continued to be higher than before the pandemic.

This is partly a result of the impact of the pandemic on seniors who were seeking assistance in navigating public health restrictions and changes to government services.

The OSA also received many inquiries from seniors and their loved ones who were affected by floods, wildfires and, most significantly, extreme heat in June and July. Callers requested information on the location and hours of cooling centres, asking how to access air conditioners, and voicing concerns about the high temperatures in residential care facilities.

Personal engagement with seniors and the community at large remained mostly virtual throughout the year, although in-person contact has begun to increase. In addition to our ongoing work which includes the Long-Term Care Directory and Monitoring Report, the office released reports on COVID-19 outbreaks in long term care homes, and the abuse and neglect of B.C. seniors.

The office also launched a second review of home support services and made considerable progress on systemic reviews of the challenges faced by low-income seniors, and legislative changes to assisted living. These reports will be released in the coming year, along with an expanded version of the Long-Term Care Directory, which will include assisted living residences. 4 Office of the Seniors Advocate | 2021/22 Annual Report.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate continues to be supported by an amazing staff who have performed exceedingly well under the pressures of a continuing pandemic which has impacted many aspects of their work. Overall, the office provides good value for the public as we work within a small budget despite increased demands on the office.

In addition to the staff of the OSA, the work of this office would not be possible without the support of staff in several ministries, most notably the Ministry of Health and other service providers such as health authorities and community agencies.

My continued thanks to everyone who continues to demonstrate that British Columbians care very deeply about the seniors in their communities.

Read the report