Flawed survey

The only Parksville Qualicum Beach home support services clients actually surveyed for this report were current users.

Re: ‘Satisfied, but wanting more,’ (The NEWS, Sept. 22) about the recently-released report on a survey about home support services by the B.C. seniors’ advocate.

The only Parksville Qualicum Beach home support services clients actually surveyed for this report were current users. Family caregivers, such as this writer and other people in Parksville Qualicum Beach known to me who had found home support deficient, lacking or sufficiently problematic as to terminate or cancel such services, despite active files — they were never surveyed as to why.

Worse, letters from several Parksville Qualicum Beach family caregivers to the seniors’ advocate, pointing out this discrepancy and the risk of distortion or flawed survey results were ignored. Another suggestion to survey Parksville Qualicum Beach’s capable family-caregiver-oriented support groups, with their significant abundance/accessibility of collected wisdom was also ignored. The fact that an incomplete survey and analysis with only partial, flawed or incorrect results/conclusions could be used to establish home support policy and practice going forward is alarming.

Several of us in Parksville Qualicum Beach have also learned the hard-way. There is no “complaint” or appeal mechanism for families compromised in one way or another by Island Health’s version and delivery of home support services, despite our need for such services as we with our loved ones attempt to remain in our own homes and community while dealing with chronic or life-limiting conditions. Incidentally, by so-doing, we save the public purse tens of thousands of dollars.

After I read the story in The NEWS about the survey, I also questioned the independence of the seniors’ advocate and office. Is it merely a self-serving front for government policy, however flawed?

I submit this letter with trepidation as my spouse and I struggle to remain at home while dealing with life-limiting issues within the palliative-at-home program, a program which has helped and benefited us so significantly. Home support? Not so much.

Terrence MobberleyQualicum Beach