Volunteer Jennifer Sirges with Beryl

There are over 29,000 individuals living in 294 publicly subsidized care homes in BC. Every resident will be approached to participate in an in-person interview conducted by trained volunteers. In addition, all family and visitors of each resident will be invited to complete an online survey. The rich information collected from the resident interviews and family/frequent visitor surveys will be an important source of information for our Seniors Advocate to identify system wide issues.

The resident survey could not be conducted without the support of volunteers in every region of the province. Communities all over the Kootenay and boundary regions have residents waiting for someone to visit them, ask their opinion, listen to their stories, and brighten their day! You can join our growing team of volunteers in this region and engage with seniors about their experience in long-term care facilities. All required training is provided, and volunteer hours are self-scheduled.

This survey was done for the first time in 2016/17, with over 800 volunteers from across the province. Jennifer Sirges, from Trail, was one of these many dedicated volunteers, and has this to share about her experience: 

“Finding myself ‘between careers,’ I was interested in a volunteer position for a short-term commitment, and saw this role as a chance to see if I would enjoy working with seniors as much as I expected to. The training taught me about the importance of a structured, consistent approach to survey-taking, and how to communicate gently with individuals who have a variety of frailties and vulnerabilities. Actually, going into the care homes and conducting the surveys was nerve-wracking at the beginning, but quickly proved to be immensely rewarding: I was able to set my own schedule, and loved listening to intriguing individuals with stories to tell. When my volunteer role came to an end, I felt so good about my experience (and about the local care homes!) that I took steps to earn my class 4 driver’s license and applied to work with recreation programs in long-term care. This has been my employment since early 2018, and brings me great joy to spend time enriching the care experience these seniors receive.”

Join our team of dedicated volunteers! You can apply as a surveyor now! Online: www.surveybcseniors.org/volunteer Call: 1-877-952-9181.