March 2023 Seniors Report

By Donna Webb, Seniors Convenor

On January 23, 2023 I attended a presentation entitled “Finally, Some Good News About Stress! The Benefits of (Some) Daily Challenge”.

The speaker was Dr. David Almeida, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and a faculty member of the Center for Healthy Aging at Penn State University. Dr. Almeida earned his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Victoria. His research examines the effects of biological and self-reported indicators of stress on health. His primary interest has been the role of daily stress on healthy aging but has also examined stress processes in specific populations and contexts, such as the workplace and family interactions, parents of children with developmental disabilities, and family caregivers.

Research documents the harmful effects of daily stressors on well-being, but often ignored in these studies are people reporting no stressors. This talk examined the benefits and costs of a “stressor-free life”, with a focus on the potential benefits of small amounts of daily stress. He used data from the National Studies of Daily Experiences (NSDE) to calculate the prevalence of adults who reported no daily stressors over the course of 8 consecutive days.  Data were comprised of 20,188 daily interviews from 2,804 adults ages 25-85.  Results indicated that 10% of adults reported no stressors over the 8 days. Stressor-free adults were less likely to report positive events in their daily lives.

Previous assumptions about stress were refuted with twenty years of funded research, for example: stress is universal, stress is unhealthy, stress should be avoided, resilience to stress is exogenous to the stress process. Instead, the study found that having a purpose in life reduces reactivity to daily stress and exercise reduces reactivity to daily stress. Almost 10% of the study participants reported no stressors. These individuals reported fewer positive life events, fewer social support exchanges, and the found these participants scored lower in present and future cognitive functioning.

The Healthy Aging Public Lecture Series is sponsored by the Edwin S.H. Leong Healthy Aging Program and the UBC School of Kinesiology and supported by the Providence Health Care Dialogue on Aging Public Presentation Series.


December 2022 Seniors Report

By Donna Webb, Seniors Convenor

Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Directory Update

The Office of the Seniors Advocate has released an updated long-term care home directory which now also includes information on all publicly funded assisted living facilities in British Columbia. This online searchable directory is an excellent resource for people looking for current information on care homes.

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Connecting with Seniors in Rural Communities

The Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie continued engaging with seniors in rural communities throughout the province in October. Notably, she spoke at the Valemount Seniors Fair, a town hall in Squamish, and met with seniors on both Denman and Hornby Islands.

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Seniors Advocate Participates in Long-Term Care Survey

The Seniors Advocate recently joined the efforts of volunteer surveyors in downtown Vancouver by interviewing seniors living in long term care about their quality of life. Read more about a volunteer’s experience working with the Seniors Advocate, as well as her reflections on patient-centered care in residential care homes. OSA will be seeking volunteers until spring 2023. Find out more about volunteering on the project website.

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For more information, visit the Seniors Advocate web site at

November 2022 Seniors Report

By Donna Webb, Seniors Convenor

BC Seniors News

Report Release – BC Seniors: Falling Further Behind

In September, the Seniors Advocate released OSA’s latest report “BC Seniors: Falling Further Behind” on the income and affordability challenges of BC seniors. The report highlights the impact of rising costs on seniors who depend on government pensions and ranks BC as the lowest in its financial support for seniors compared to other provinces and territories.

Seniors Advocate Statement on the International Day of Older Persons 2022

October 1 was the International Day of Older Persons 2022 and it was an excellent opportunity to recognize the valuable contributions seniors make every day in communities throughout BC.

Meeting of the OSA Council of Advisors

The OSA Council of Advisors (COA) came together in-person last month for the first time in nearly three years. The Minister of Health and Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care joined to honour outgoing COA members Bill Routley, Diane Jeffries and Margaret Monro.

Seniors Advocate at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention

The Seniors Advocate hosted a workshop and panel discussion on the role of local government in supporting seniors at the 2022 UBCM Convention. The panel discussed innovative projects that exemplify ways that municipalities can leverage provincial investments for the benefit of seniors. She also held meetings with a number of municipal stakeholders on issues related to seniors.

Long-Term Care Volunteer Surveyors Share Their Experiences

Dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds are joining the survey team to listen to the experiences of older adults living in long-term care and learn about their quality of life. Some volunteer surveyors are fluent in other languages and invite residents to participate in the survey in their preferred language.

For more information, visit the Seniors Advocate web site at



October 2022 Seniors Report

By Donna Webb, Seniors Convenor


Below are links to some of the studies relating to seniors and aging occurring at UBC.

Geriatrics and gerontology – UBC

Aging | UBC Health

Aging – UBC Experts Guide – The University of British Columbia

Social and biological determinants of aging – UBC

UBC University of BC Division of Geriatrics

Division of Geriatric Medicine – Academic Unit – Vancouver

GERO @ the UBC School of Nursing

Research Cluster in Aging in Place

Residency & Education – UBC Division of Geriatrics

Active Aging Research Team