Residents living in long-term care and their family* deserve to have input into decision making which affects their daily lives. Residents, who are able, advocate for themselves via Resident Councils. Family Councils advocate on behalf of their loved ones, the resident community at large and family caregivers as part of the care team.
In June 2023, the Independent Long-Term Care Councils Association of BC (ILTCCABC) announced a grant had been received of $300,000 from the Ministry of Health. This will help enhance the voice of long-term care residents and better promote independent resident and family council structures in all long-term care homes across BC.
Lisa Dawson, VP/Secretary of ILTCCABC and Chair of the Vancouver Coastal Association of Family Councils, says the grant will help support and advance the voice of family councils at various levels:
- At the care home level, to promote independent Family Councils: In care homes, Family Council members help identify and promote practices that have proven to be valuable for residents and make important suggestions to promote quality of care or quality of life for their loved ones and all residents in their own care home. Their suggestions come from direct observation of the experiences commonly shared by persons living in long-term care.
- At the regional level, to support memberRegional Associations of Family Councils: Regional Associations are comprised of independent Family Councils from within the same health authority. Members network and identify best practices and concerns which are widely shared by individual Family Councils. Together they explore possible solutions for improvements in long-term care homes and the long-term care system to be further examined and evaluated at a provincial level.
- At the provincial level, to advance the collective voice via the Provincial Association of Family Councils: The ILTCCABC is comprised of Regional Association members, who network to collectively voice recommendations which have the integrity and accuracy that come from experiences and perspectives first identified by independent Family Councils, validated at meetings in their respective Regional Association, and then gathered and presented by the Provincial Association directly to the Ministry of Health for consideration. For example, on July 6, ILTCCABC met with the Ministry and presented the top five systemic issues across BC along with their recommendations.
Fast Facts about the ILTCCABC:
- It’s a provincial non-profit association of Family Councils representing the collective voice of residents, their families, and residents’ representatives.
- It’s a partner in the long-term care sector having the opportunity to engage with the Ministry of Health and is a valuable resource for the development of Resident and Family Councils throughout BC.
- It has member Regional Associations of Family Councils operating in every health authority across BC. Experienced volunteers assist long-term care home operators, residents’ families and representatives to learn about, establish and maintain effective Family Councils throughout the province.
* Family is defined as persons of importance to residents such as relatives, friends and representatives.