10/22/2014 02:22 EDT | Updated 12/22/2014 05:59 EST

B.C.'s seniors' advocate to poll elderly about support services, transport

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's new seniors' advocate is turning to the people who know best about what's working for the elderly and what needs to be improved.

One of Isobel Mackenzie's first actions will be to commission a provincewide survey of residents in care facilities and those using home support and HandyDart services to determine what they like and what could be improved.

Mackenzie says such a significant undertaking has not been done elsewhere in Canada, but it's required to support the independence of B.C.'s growing seniors' population.

She says the survey will provide the government and service providers with information on where they stand, and the public deserves to know if the needs of the most frail and vulnerable are being met.

The announcement comes as Mackenzie released her first report highlighting inconsistent supports and services for seniors, depending on where they live in the province.

Health Minister Terry Lake says he has no doubt that Mackenzie's first major review, on housing, will provide useful recommendations in improving seniors' care in B.C.