Winning hearts and minds this holiday season

Your friends and family will want to know what you’ve been up to this past year, so it’s the perfect time to let them know everything you have done to fight for better seniors’ care. Let’s take pride in our campaign. 

If everyone speaks with two people this holiday season about why we’re passionate about seniors’ care and how they can help, our movement will grow.

Your voice matters. Here are some key messages and tips to help change hearts and minds this holiday season.

Connect: Lead with your values

When it comes to seniors’ care, the vast majority of British Columbians are in support of more and better care. Let’s make sure to lead with our shared values so they see our point of view:

  • Seniors helped build this province and they deserve better.

Problem: Build your case for seniors’ care

Friends and family might not know about the state of seniors’ care in B.C. Highlight the issue at hand. Here are five key points that can help make them aware of the problem:

  • 20 years of privatization has hurt care. 

  • 1 in 3 long-term care facilities are for-profit businesses. 

  • Care standards and working conditions are inconsistent.

  • Frontline workers are doing their best to provide quality care, but they can’t do it alone.

  • The B.C. government has committed to fixing long-term care and assisted living. They’ve started, but we have to hold them to all their promises.

Solution: Tell them what we’re fighting for

We’re taking a solutions-focused approach to seniors’ care. Show how these solutions can help fix seniors’ care. Let family & friends know that we’re fighting for:

  • We can fix seniors’ care and make it better by: 

    • Making new care spaces public or non-profit (not operated by private companies.)

    • Fixing the staffing crisis with better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

    • Stopping the contracting out of care and support.

    • Forcing private, for-profit companies to be more accountable and transparent.

Action: Invite them to help

Impactful conversations can help change hearts and minds. If your friend or family member cares as much about seniors’ care as you do, invite them to take action:

Tips:

  • Don’t forget to listen. It’s important to hear where they are coming from.

  • Your story matters. If you have a story about seniors’ care, share it. It can help your friend or family member understand how personal this is for you.

  • Talk about the actions you have taken to date and why it was meaningful for you.

FAQ & Challenges

You might run into challenges or misconceptions while talking about seniors’ care with family and friends. Here are some commonly asked questions, and how to address them.

Question: How did seniors’ care get so bad in the first place?
Response: The former BC Liberal government cut, privatized, and reduced regulations in care homes. This undermined working and caring conditions. The pandemic worsened the situation by placing extra pressure on residents, staff, and families.

Question: Didn’t the government already take care of this?
Response: The government has started to help seniors’ care by hiring more workers, improving funding, standardizing wages and taking measures to stabilize care. But we have to hold them accountable to see all of their commitments through. That means keeping pressure on by writing letters, signing petitions, and more.

Question: How is online action effective? 
Response: Loud, continuous support keeps an issue top of mind for the public, and for elected officials. You can do it from home, often in less than a minute. Speaking out on social media can help make others aware of and care about the problem. There are a lot of issues out there, so appealing to your local MLA in an email reminds them fixing seniors’ care is important. 

Question: This is just about workers wanting more pay, isn’t it? 
Response: Years of low wages, heavy workloads, and pandemic burnout mean front-line healthcare workers are leaving their jobs in record numbers. This impacts the care seniors are receiving. Recently government standardized wages, so staff earn the same amount no matter which facility they work at, but benefits, and working conditions, can still vary from site to site. It’s not enough to hire more workers — we must keep them by ensuring decent benefits and working conditions at every care home. It’s the only way to make sure seniors have the care they need when they need it.

Question: What’s wrong with for-profit care facilities?
Response: A 2020 BC Seniors Advocate report showed that for-profit operators provided 207,000 hours less care than they were funded to provide. Meanwhile, not-for-profit operators consistently delivered more care. That’s why we need more transparency and accountability for private seniors’ care homes.

Question: What’s wrong with contracting out?
Response: Subcontracting care and support services leads to less accountability, more fragmented services, and less stable staffing. It can disrupt the continuity of care for seniors and their families. And it introduces another layer of profit-taking into publicly-funded seniors’ care.