Victoria – The Province is investing $500 million over the next four years as part of a Ministry of Health action plan to improve care for seniors across the system, including increasing direct-care hours for seniors in residential care.
“Seniors are an important part of the fabric that makes up our communities, and often some of the most vulnerable,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “This investment helps ensure access to quality services across the continuum of care, from supports in their homes to residential care. No matter how complex a person’s needs are, we want to ensure they get the most appropriate care that best enhances their quality of life.”
Over the next four years, year-over-year funding increases from the Ministry of Health will enable each health authority to reach a consistent average of 3.36 direct-care hours per resident day across both publicly administered and contracted residential-care facilities. This was a key recommendation of a recent review of residential-care services by Parliamentary Secretary Darryl Plecas, and has been recommended by Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.
- Over $2.9 billion was invested in home and community care in 2016 throughout the province, an increase of over $1.3 billion from 2001.
- There are 27,700 residential-care beds and 4,468 assisted-living beds in B.C., an increase of almost 6,900 seniors-care beds since 2001.
Action Plan to Strengthen Home and Community Care for Seniors: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2017/home-and-community-care-action-plan.pdf
Residential Care Staffing Review: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2017/residential-care-staffing-review.pdf
To learn more about the resources available for seniors, please visit: www.SeniorsBC.ca
Action plan to strengthen home and community care for seniors
The Ministry of Health’s Action Plan focuses on several key areas:
- Supporting healthy aging by providing information to help seniors stay as well and active as possible at all stages of aging, through HealthLinkBC and in collaboration with the Office of the Seniors Advocate.
- Providing more co-ordinated, integrated care in the community for seniors with complex medical needs, through health authority-operated specialized community services programs in the 61 geographic health areas throughout the province. These programs will actively work with family doctors and nurse practitioners to identify seniors needing increased supports, and provide comprehensive case management and co-ordination of all health-care services, as well as increased home support and other services such as community paramedicine and home-health monitoring.
- Working with assisted living operators to implement new provisions under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, which will allow clients with increasing health-care needs to remain longer in assisted living with supports rather than having to transfer to higher level residential care.
- Strengthening quality in residential care, by improving consistency, transparency and accountability in meeting residents’ needs, as well as system sustainability and alignment with the ministry’s focus on patient-centred care in the community. In addition to increasing direct care to an average of 3.36 hours per resident day across each health authority, some care homes will introduce enhanced services to provide a higher level of medical care on a short-term basis for frail seniors who have experienced an acute-health issue that could be managed in the community. These beds will help seniors avoid a hospital admission or allow them to leave the hospital sooner by providing an appropriate alternative care option in the community.
- Implementing a health-human resources plan that will provide regular full-time positions to current casual and part-time staff in residential care, launch targeted recruitment and expand training programs to ensure an adequate supply of qualified health-care staff.
- Ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure quality, staffing and funding are achieving expected results in home and community-care services for seniors.