Sunridge Gardens and its staff recently earned the new seal of approval accreditation from the BCSLA. That team included (left to right) recreation manager Jennifer Wasden, general manager Shannon Saunders, BC Seniors Living Association president Lee Coonfer, and Sunridge reception’s Bernadette Villanueva and gardens maintenance technician Scott Watson. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Sunridge Gardens and its staff recently earned the new seal of approval accreditation from the BCSLA. That team included (left to right) recreation manager Jennifer Wasden, general manager Shannon Saunders, BC Seniors Living Association president Lee Coonfer, and Sunridge reception’s Bernadette Villanueva and gardens maintenance technician Scott Watson. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley seniors residence first in B.C. to garner approval

Sunridge Gardens in Murrayville meets new provincial standards amid COVID

A seniors care residence in Murrayville served as an unofficial guinea pig and in doing so earned B.C.’s highest level of recognition for both service and care for its residents.

Sunridge Garden Seniors Community, a Bria operated independent seniors living residence, was the first site in the province to earn the BC Seniors Living Association’s (BCSLA) upgraded seal of approval designation, confirmed Janice Miller, Bria’s marketing manager.

“Why does it matter? The seal of approval ensures that seniors living who choose to live in seniors communities receive the highest level of service and care – a particularly poignant issue these days,” she said.

The association has introduced a new audit program that revitalizes the standards program for accreditation, explained BCSLA CEO Lee Coonfer.

“This is an exciting time for BCSLA as we employ a revitalized standards review program that requires our member communities to operate at exceedingly high levels while setting a foundation for their continuous improvement going forward,” Coonfer said.

“This innovative assessment tool has been over a year in development and could not come at a better time in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

The operating environment for seniors’ communities has changed in the 10 years since the seal of approval process was introduced, and more than a year ago BCSLA embarked on what Coonfer calls an “ambitious” revitalization to ensure that this assessment tool continues to be effective and reflective of today’s realities.

“We were thrilled to be part of the pilot project for the new seal of approval process and to have Sunridge Gardens be the first community to achieve the redeveloped seal of approval,” said Bria director Tanya Snow.

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“We want to be part of an association that wants to promote and advocate for self-regulation in our industry. This gives us the chance to showcase what independent senior living is and be an autonomous industry.”

Shannon Saunders, general manager for Sunridge, noted achieving the new seal of approval was a “rigorous” process.

“This is a much more in-depth process; it was intense. But it was also more relevant to the kind of service we want to offer to independent living residents like ours,” Saunders said.

“We’re constantly looking to improve our residents’ experience and address their changing needs,” interjected Snow. “The revitalized seal of approval pushes us to offer the highest level of senior living.”

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