Advocate at seniors centre

Seniors heard about government's priorities for delivering service

Isobel Mackenzie

B.C.’s seniors’ advocate was in Maple Ridge Wednesday for a town hall meeting, sharing plans to advocate for better health care, personal care, housing, transportation and income support

Isobel Mackenzie, Canada’s first seniors’ advocate, was at the Ridge Meadows Senior Centre, located at 12150 224th St., from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Heather Treleavan, coordinator of the Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Katzie Senior’s Network, said is was an honour to have Mackenzie come to the region.

“This is an opportunity for community members to hear the advocate’s perspective on the top priorities for seniors service change in this province and to participate in a dialogue with this dynamic and knowledgeable individual,” she said.

Mackenzie has more than 18 years experience at local, provincial and national level.

Appointed by the provincial government last April, her office is designed to monitor seniors’ services, and to work with seniors and their families, policy makers and service providers in order to improve care for the elderly in B.C.

Mackenzie began in 1995 working with Beacon Community Services in Victoria, helping grow it to one of B.C.’s largest not-for-profit community and senior-serving organizations.

It now has more than 1,200 staff and 400 volunteers helping the more than 7,000 seniors in Victoria and surrounding area.

In her time at Beacon, she developed a new form of dementia care  that has become a national best practice.

As the voice of seniors in B.C., Mackenzie has a broad mandate to monitor and review system-wide issues affecting the well-being of seniors, and to raise awareness about resources available to them.

From 2007 to 2011 Mackenzie also served as the B.C. director for the Canadian Home Care Association, bringing representatives from the 10 provinces and three territories together to study home care on a national level.

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