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Letter: Seniors rights being neglected by care facilities

To the Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to empower seniors and their families with knowledge that is crucial to have when standing up for their right to be protected from abuse or neglect in a senior care facility.

It will enable them to demand a better quality of care afforded them by Bill 17, the "Residents Bill of Rights".

Residential Care Facilities are governed under two different Licensing Acts. The "Hospital Act" and the "Community Care and Assisted Living Act" (CCALA).

Every person in Residential Care, private or government owned, subsidized or not, under the Hospital Act or the CCALA, are to be protected under the "Residents Bill of Rights".

Inform the facility management that you are aware of this.

There is a list of "20 Reportable Incidents" for those living under the CCALA. Neglect, falling and choking, are three of them. Section 77 of the "Act" requires the facility to report any of these incidents to the residents representative, their nurse, and the regional medical health officer immediately.

An "Incident Report" must then be sent to the Community Care Licensing Office immediately. A confidential complaint can be made by a resident or their representative to the Patient Care Quality Office.

They have 40 days to report back to you with the results. A confidential complaint can also be made to the Community Care Licensing Office by anyone including employees.

When making a complaint to anyone, always always, get your case workers name and your case file number.

That will be a strong indicator that you are expecting a result and increase your chance of getting one. An employee cannot be fired or penalized in any way, under the "Adult Guardianship Act".

You can also report abuse or neglect to the Ombudsman at: 1-800-567-3247 or the Senior Health Care Support Line at: 1-877-952-3181.

I will welcome a letter from anyone who wishes to share their experiences with a senior facility.

Write Judy Galley at: 2433 Sherry Rd. Sorrento, BC (VOE-2W1)

Judy Galley, Sorrento, BC