Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is responsible for the care and well being of qualified veterans accommodated in a variety of Long Term Care (LTC) facilities across Canada. There are 4300 Priority Access Beds allocated for veterans in major facilities. Approximately 7,200 other veterans are accommodated in over 1,900 community facilities.
VAC staff have monitored care and conditions through client satisfaction surveys at larger priority access bed sites, but more scattered and remote community sites have not regularly been covered. Such visits are increasingly important as individual veterans age and are less able to represent their own interests in ensuring a common standard of quality care. The VAC Gerontological Advisory Council and The Royal Canadian Legion recommended that regular visits to veterans residing in community facilities be conducted.
As the largest veteran’s service organization in Canada, The Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) is uniquely qualified to conduct fieldwork for regular client satisfaction surveys of veterans residing in community LTC facilities. The Legion has over 400,000 members in approximately 1,600 branches located in small and large centres across Canada. The Long Term Care Surveyor Program draws on this resource to conduct veteran satisfaction surveys for Veterans Affairs Canada under contract.
Qualified Legion members screened and qualified through surveyor training are assigned responsibility for visits to sites in proximity to their residence. When tasked by VAC, surveyors organize and conduct interviews with veterans and provide completed questionnaires to the responsible VAC office. A separate summary report sent with the surveyor expense claim to RCL Dominion Headquarters is subsequently forwarded to VAC. If a problem is identified in a Legion Summary Report, details are provided to VAC’s Director of Residential Care in Charlottetown who correlates reports with individual questionnaires and initiates corrective action. Feedback is provided to The Legion and other concerned agents.
Program overview is maintained by the Dominion Veterans, Service and Seniors Committee while Dominion Service Bureau provides control and coordination. The response of surveyors is monitored and volunteers are reimbursed only for out of pocket travel and report expenses.
As our Veterans age, the need for more regular visits to long term care residences becomes increasingly important. That’s why Veterans Affairs Canada is pleased to partner with the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) in a contract to have volunteer RCL surveyors conduct client satisfaction surveys with up to 7200 Veterans living in more than 1900 community care residences across Canada.
The Legion is pleased to work with the Department on this important initiative. The surveyors are making great progress and the Veterans and family members are pleased to meet with them and are very receptive to an interview.
The purpose of the client satisfaction surveys is to determine Veterans’ satisfaction with the care they receive in the long-term care residences where they reside.
A Surveyor`s Testimony of his visits with veterans living in Long Term Care facilities on Vancouver Island.
Long Term Care Surveyor Program brochure (PDF)
Update Letter concerning Long Term Care Surveyor Recruitment (PDF)