What is a Resident and/or Family Council



A Resident and/or Family Council is a group of persons who either live in a long-term care (LTC) home, their families, and/or the residents’ representative, who meet regularly to maintain and enhance the quality of life of residents in LTC. Councils exist to engage the resident community and to improve the experiences of all residents, by providing their insights and advice and represent the collective interests of residents.

Types of Councils allowed to operate within a LTC home in BC

  • Some care homes may have only a family council OR a resident council.
  • Some may have BOTH a family council and a resident council.
  • Smaller care homes may decide to have a combined resident and family council.

What Family Councils Do

Encourage and offer support

for one another; reducing sense of isolation, helplessness, frustration.


Deepen relationships

between resident, family, and LTCH Staff by fostering mutual understanding and collaborative conversation.


Problem Solve

Identify issues and celebrate successes; advocate for continuous improvement within the LTCH.


Communicate and Educate

About the your care home (policies, procedures, care team, etc.). About issues relating to residents and the LTC system (dementia, diabetes, food, recreation etc.)



Advocate for positive change within the long-term care home and the long-term care system by participating in its respective regional association of family councils.


What is a Family Council?

A Family Council is a group of people who collaborate to improve residents’ lives. Moving into a long term care(LTC) home is a major change, accompanied by a loss of what is familiar and comfortable, both for residents and their families, friends or other caregivers.

Participating on a family council is a way for residents’ family members and representatives to make living in a long-term care home a happier and more successful experience for all residents.

Council meetings are a place to raise concerns, have a voice in shaping policy and to hear and understand what each council member has to offer.

Members may be residents’ family or representatives acting on behalf of the resident. Council structure is flexible. A council may be large and formal or small and informal, depending on what works best in each case. Each member can contribute to the level that is best for them.

What are some benefits of being part of a council?

Councils give their members opportunities to:


Work together, support one another and share experiences

Have a collective voice in decisions being made in the care home that affect their loved one and all residents in care and hear staff and administration’s views.

Elevate the collective voice not only at the local level (LTC home operator) but also to the regional level (health authority) and provincial level (Ministry of Health)

Generate ideas to improve residents’ quality of care and quality of life

Increase participants’ understanding and awareness of what’s possible through guest presentations and knowledge sharing