Report on home support services suggests people are satisfied but want more

B.C. Senior Advocate Isobel Mackenzie released the report this week

The majority of clients (62 per cent) are satisfied with the quality of the home support services they receive in B.C., but they want access to more services, according to a report released Monday.

Isobel Mackenzie, Seniors Advocate for B.C., released the report highlighting results of B.C.’s first province-wide survey of home support clients and their family members.

“We have heard the collective voice of almost 10,000 seniors and their family members on how they rate the quality and effectiveness of our provincial home support program,” Mackenzie said in a news release. “There was some good news in the results, as well as clear messages about where there are opportunities for improvements.”

Of the respondents 28 per cent would like housekeeping services available to them and 12 per cent want meal preparation.

Other highlights include “an overwhelming recognition that home support staff are caring and respectful (92 per cent), according to the report.

Twenty per cent said they get too many different workers and only 47 per cent said they feel like their clients have all the necessary skills to provide good care.

“We need to look at how the housekeeping and meal preparation needs of our clients can be better met, how we can reduce the number of different workers involved in care delivery, and how we can increase the skills of a workforce that is highly compassionate,” said Mackenzie.

The survey found 80 per cent of clients knew how many medications they were taking, but there was a much lower rate of awareness around why a client is using them, only 59 per cent knew all their medications and only 17 per cent know the side effects for all of their medications.

The survey was conducted in the fall of 2015 and received responses from 5,336 clients and 4,040 family members giving it a margin of error of just one per cent.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate is an independent office of the provincial government with a mandate of monitoring seniors’ services and publicly reporting on systemic issues affecting seniors. For more on the survey or referral services call 1-877-952-3181 or visit www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca

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