Law gives continuing care residents greater say
Family and residents of long-term care and licensed supportive living facilities can establish councils to have more say in their quality of life.
The Resident and Family Councils Act came into effect April 1, requiring all licensed supportive living and long-term care facilities in Alberta to notify residents of their right to establish self-governing councils.
Councils provide an opportunity for residents and families to discuss quality-of-life concerns with operators, including food, services and activities.
“For thousands of Albertans living in long-term care and supportive living, resident councils already make life better in dozens of tangible ways. We’re building on successes throughout the province so that operators, residents and families have opportunities to work together.”
“The Alberta Continuing Care Association applauds and fully supports this new legislation, which ensures that residents have input into things that matter to them. Many of our members’ homes have had robust, active Resident and Family Councils for years. As we strive for quality care, quality of life and enhanced wellness, collaborating with residents only makes us better.”
The new legislation applies to public, private and not-for-profit facilities, and gives each council the flexibility to determine how to operate and who to involve. To support this work, a toolkit is available to help residents and families set up and maintain a council. An information guide is also available for operators to help clarify their responsibilities under the legislation. These resources were developed in partnership with residents, families and operators.
“Moving into care can be difficult, but our residents’ council helps us welcome people into a comfortable home. The work we’ve done makes a real difference, whether it’s regular meetings with kitchen staff or partnering with management to keep the bus stop in front of our building.”
“We want our residents to always feel at home. It has been excellent working with our residents’ council, which helps us find practical ways to improve quality of life.”
- The new rules apply to a variety of facilities, including nursing homes and seniors’ lodges.
- Any individual resident, family member or group of residents or family members can set up a council.
- Residents and family members are free to decide council structure and processes, including members’ roles, meeting format and frequency, as well as when and how facility representatives should be involved in council meetings.