It’s a wish come true for Williams Lake seniors advocate Audrey MacLise.
“I got a call from Bob Simpson’s office this morning telling me the government is going to appoint a seniors advocate. When the premier was in town a few weeks ago I asked if the government was going to appoint someone and she told me she couldn’t answer the question,” MacLise says.
She’s pleased because she feels as if up until now she’s been crying in the wind for years.
“Finally the powers that be are starting to read the statistics. We’ve known for years that our seniors population would be tripling. The governments, neither federal nor provincial, have done very much planning,” MacLise says.
Crediting ombudsperson Kim Carter and the reports and books she’s written on seniors care in the province, MacLise suggests Carter has raised the government’s awareness.
“She’s provided them with information that’s going to be really necessary in the years to come. She told me once she had 900 complaints about seniors’ care that she followed up on. Her second book — The Best of Care Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia — is a gem. I’m reading it for the second time. My only regret is that it wasn’t available before the present government started dabbling in private seniors’ care.”
Carter will be in Williams Lake on June 5 to meet with seniors from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Pioneer Complex.
In anticipation of the meeting, MacLise is urging as many people as possible to attend the meeting.
Back in 2005, Carter visited with seniors in Williams Lake, so MacLise is looking forward to seeing her again.
“If anyone needs a ride to the meeting they can call me at 250-392-5337,” MacLise says.
Presently the province is holding community consultation meetings on the seniors’ advocate, although the closest meetings to Williams Lake will be in Kelowna on June 20 and in Prince George on June 25.