Continuing-care residents getting a voice

Spotlight Staff

Residents of long- term and licensed supportive-care facilities could have a new voice under legislation proposed by the Government of Alberta.

Legislation would give residents more say in their quality of life and how their homes are run, says a news release dated Oct. 31.

We’re working to make life better for Albertans by ensuring residents and their families have opportunities to help create caring, supportive environments, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says.

Resident and family councils would play a crucial role in many communities, but no consistent requirements exist for all Alberta long-term care and supportive-living facilities.”

The councils Act would guarantee residents and families the right to establish self- governing councils at any long-term care and licensed supportive-living facilities with four or more residents.

The legislation would apply to public, private and non-profit long- term care and supportive-living facilities.

Operators would be required to work with councils on quality-of- life concerns, such as food, services and activities. Council members would have flexibility in determining roles, when and how facility representatives should be involved and how meetings would be structured.

In the coming weeks and months, the province would also engage with people with developmental disabilities, their family members and guardians.

The Resident and Family Councils Act offers yet another opportunity to ensure that voices of Albertans with disabilities are reflected in decisions that affect them,” Community Services Minister Irfin Sabir says.

As government, we completely agree that Albertans should have a voice in these matters and are committed to working alongside those with disabilities, their families, disability advocates and service providers.”

If passed, the legislation would come into effect on April 1, 2018.

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