Judy Galley’s conscience was bothering her, so she decided to do something about it.
The Salmon Arm resident’s discomfort began years ago when her aging parents were living in a facility in Kelowna.
“I saw that people were neglected, not because the staff were cruel or unkind, but because of staff shortages. My father would be left sitting in a common area for hours despite the fact that sitting for long periods was intensely painful for him, simply because the staff were so busy,” she said.
“Our family was able to make sure not a day go by without someone there, but not everyone is so lucky.”
Her parents have since died, but since then she saw and heard of similar situations in care facilities in the Interior and around the province and decided it was time to take action.
Now she is starting a public petition looking for people to support government regulations that would increase the staffing levels in seniors care homes across B.C.
“I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t stand not doing anything when I could be capable of making a change. I have the time now, so I’m going to try,” she said.
Galley started researching the issue, looking at reports made by B.C.’s ombudsman and the Lisencing Act regulations. She found many of the ombudsman’s recommendations have been ignored.
“To me, the government’s already got the information that changes are needed, but they aren’t doing anything about it.”
She filed complaints with the Interior Health Authority and while she was pleased with their response and investigations, she was frustrated by being told that nothing could be done because the facility was complying with minimum government standards.
“What I came to realize is the standards need to be changed. They simply are not good enough for our seniors.”
Galley will be in Armstrong at Askew’s Foods Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in Salmon Arm at the Mall at Piccadilly Feb. 23 gathering signatures for a petition that will be presented in the legislature this spring.