British Columbia’s new seniors advocate is Dan Levitt, an adjunct professor of gerontology at Simon Fraser College and the top of a non-profit long-term care residence.

Levitt mentioned Friday he’s “deeply honoured” to be appointed the province’s second seniors advocate, and thanked present advocate Isobel Mackenzie, who’s retiring in April.

He mentioned the demographic shift because the inhabitants ages means it’s vital to start out “rethinking getting older” and now not view it as one thing to worry however one thing to embrace.

Well being Minister Adrian Dix made the announcement and mentioned Levitt can be liable for monitoring and analyzing the province’s providers geared towards seniors within the areas of well being care, housing, revenue assist, neighborhood assist and transportation.


Levitt mentioned his first precedence can be travelling the province to satisfy seniors in rural and concrete centres to listen to their considerations and produce stories on enhance their lives.

Mackenzie mentioned it’s “bittersweet” to be leaving the function, however she has “nice confidence” within the workforce that selected Levitt as her successor.

She mentioned she is grateful for Dix’s “unwavering assist” throughout her tenure.

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Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is photographed at her workplace in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Dix mentioned Mackenzie’s 10 years within the function noticed her develop into recognized for “being extremely efficient and for her fierce advocacy,” tackling vital points comparable to long-term care residence staffing deficiencies.

The minister mentioned he believes B.C. was the primary province to create such an advocate for seniors.

“It has an important function in oversight and advocacy, taking part in its half to handle the broad systemic points that have an effect on seniors.”

With our inhabitants quickly rising and getting older, the Workplace of the Seniors Advocate is turning into extra vital than ever to make sure a extra accessible, clear and accountable method to seniors care in B.C., Dix mentioned.

Levitt mentioned he desires to handle a societal narrative that sees “getting older as a unfavourable factor,” resulting in an unwarranted “worry of older individuals.”

“There’s a worry of rising previous and I believe if we flip that the other way up and we rethink it, we embrace it and we take into consideration longevity as an excellent factor. I believe that’s a way more wholesome method,” he mentioned. Levitt mentioned he believes it’s vital “to have a optimistic viewpoint going ahead about rising previous.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Jan. 26, 2024.


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