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BC's first seniors' advocate introduced today

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – The BC government has appointed a Victoria care administrator with 20 years experience working with and serving the elderly as the provincial seniors advocate.

In what is a Canadian first, Health Minister Terry Lake says appointing Isobel Mackenzie to head the Office of the Seniors Advocate fulfills a Liberal government promise to create the position.

The advocate post resulted from a sweeping report by Ombudsperson Kim Carter who made 176 recommendations to improve the lives of BC’s elderly.

Tragic cases of seniors with dementia wandering from their homes and others being found malnourished in hotels or choking to death while being fed by caregivers were making headlines as the Liberals considered appointing the advocate.

As the chief executive at Victoria’s not-for-profit Beacon Community Services, which provides services to 7,000 seniors, Mackenzie says she knows the challenges and choices seniors and their families face.

Mackenzie says she will gather evidence that focuses on emerging issues facing seniors and make recommendations to the government.