B.C. Ombudsperson leads community discussion on home support in Kelowna | National Union of Public and General Employees

B.C. Ombudsperson leads community discussion on home support in Kelowna

“It breaks my heart that, because of funding shortfalls, I’m not allowed enough time to give seniors and other home support clients the level of care that they need." — Donna Stubbe, community health worker.

Vancouver (13 Feb. 2014) — Seniors, local residents and workers from the community health sector gathered on February 6 at Okanagan College in Kelowna to attend a forum on home support featuring B.C.’s Ombudsperson, Kim Carter.

BCGEU/NUPGE hosts forum about importance of home support in the community

The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE), who represents thousands of members working in community health throughout the province, hosted the forum in order to facilitate a public discussion on the importance of home support in the lives of seniors and people living with disabilities.

The evening began with a presentation from B.C. Ombudsperson Kim Carter on her reports on seniors’ care, including Best of Care, which was released in 2012 after years of investigation and research into best practices in seniors’ care.

Carter outlined her report’s home support recommendations at the forum and stressed the importance of acting quickly on much-needed improvements.

“There’s a real opportunity right now to make some meaningful changes to home support. However, the opportunity may be lost if these changes are delayed for another 5 or 10 years.” said Carter.

To-date, the B.C. government has yet to fully implement any of the 17 recommendations for home support that Carter brought forward two years ago.

Audience members raised concerns about the issue they face living in the community

After Carter’s presentation, forum participants engaged in a lively discussion on issues they face in home support led by Rick Turner, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition and Donna Stubbe, a community health worker from Kelowna.

“The Ombudsperson’s report is the most thorough, in-depth investigation into seniors’ care that this province has ever seen,” said Turner.

“Carter made practical recommendations that would vastly improve the lives of B.C.’s seniors, but the government’s response has been simply neglect.”

Community workers spoke about their experiences helping seniors and people with disabilities

Stubbe spoke about her first-hand experience as a frontline community health worker.

“It breaks my heart that, because of funding shortfalls, I’m not allowed enough time to give seniors and other home support clients the level of care that they need,” said Stubbe.

“We need to move from a system that is concerned with tasks to one that is concerned with health.”

The B.C. Ombudsperson is an officer of the provincial legislature; independent of government and political parties; and responsible for making sure that the administrative practices and services of public agencies are fair, reasonable, appropriate and equitable.

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