issues and experts

SFU Public Square to host event on creating safer, supportive environments for seniors

September 30, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the tenuous state and inherent inadequacies in Canada’s long-term care sector. Seniors, especially those living in long-term care facilities/homes, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with 82 percent of pandemic-related deaths in Canada occurring in long-term care homes.

To draw attention to the crucial need to overhaul the long-term care sector, bring about policy reforms and in view of National Seniors Day on Oct. 1, SFU Public Square will host an event, “Wake-Up Call: Canada's Long-Term Care Crisis” that will have panelists lead a discussion on how to create safe and supportive environments for older adults in Canada.


HABIB CHAUDHURY, professor and chair, Gerontology 

  • Environmental gerontology, in particular physical environment for people with dementia in long-term care facilities
  • Person-centered care, community planning and urban design for active aging 
  • Dementia-friendly communities, memories of home and personhood in dementia

DAN LEVITT, adjunct professor, Gerontology, and executive director, Tabor Village 

  • Seniors care, assisted living, and long-term care 
  • Creating better lives for seniors 
  • Leadership and ageism

CELINE COMEAU, office of the Seniors Advocate

  • Issues in long-term care 
  • Impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities 
  • Long-term care and assisted living

LOU BLACK, director of Research and Policy, Hospital Employees' Union (HEU)
CAELIE FRAMPTON, HEU communications director

  • Working conditions in health care 
  • Long term care service delivery 
  • Integration of community and labour organizing

JENNIFER LYLE, chief executive officer, SafeCare BC
604.630.5572 (extn 223)
Can speak to the following first wave issues, as well as those arising in the near- and long-term:

  • Exposure control/infection prevention strategies (including access to care homes and staff movement)
  • Staffing shortages 
  • Access to PPE 
  • Psychological safety 
  • Addressing our hidden pandemic (mental health toll on care workers) 
  • Increasing staffing 
  • Lessons for next time, including how to manage resource scarcity in new contexts (e.g. a COVID-19 vaccine)

JOY PARSONS, chief executive officer, Fair Haven Homes Society
604.433.2939 (extn 107)

  • Clinical care for seniors and operations management for long-term facilities 
  • Service planning and program development 
  • Facility design and redevelopment

Shradhha Sharma; University Communications and Marketing, 604.202.2504,


About Simon Fraser University: 

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.