Seniors on Vancouver Island are benefiting from a more than $6.4-million investment in 2018-19 to increase staffing levels and ensure that seniors get the care they need in residential care homes.
This is in year one of a three-year plan to increase direct care seniors receive in residential care homes on Vancouver Island and throughout the province to reach 3.36 care hours per-resident day, on average across health authorities, by 2021.
“We are taking action towards meeting the goal of 3.36 care hours per-resident day,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This standard of care for long-term care was set over a decade ago and was not achieved. Under the plan that Premier John Horgan announced earlier this year, clear action is now being taken to meet this target.
“Our government is delivering on our commitment to improve seniors’ care and has increased staffing for seniors’ care on Vancouver Island, with approximately 50,000 more direct-care hours to be provided in this region in this fiscal year alone. For seniors, this means they are getting the help they need with day-to-day care and the quality of care they deserve.”
The more than $6.4 million investment in care hours on Vancouver Island is part of the $48 million being allocated to health authorities in 2018-19 to fund over one million more hours of direct care. This increased funding for residential care is the first allocation in the three-year investment of $240 million to increase direct care that seniors receive to 3.36 hours per-resident day average by health authority announced by Premier Horgan in September 2018. In 2016, the average direct-care hours in British Columbia were 3.11 per-resident day.
Nanaimo and Parksville are among the Island communities benefiting under this plan. Almost $1.9 million are being invested in more direct care hours at eight residential care homes in these communities. Already, more than 21,000 additional care hours have been provided in the region.
Increasing the staff hours in residential care homes in Nanaimo and Parksville is just one of a number of health-care improvements in the region. These include:
- $75 million over the three years announced in June 2018 to expand respite care and adult day programs.
- As part of this, nine new respite beds with 24-hour nursing support for eligible community members have been added to Kiwanis Village Lodge in Nanaimo.
- A new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional Hospital, announced in November 2018, will offer improved care for critically ill patients and better meet the needs of a growing and aging population. Work on the building is expected to start in early 2020 and be ready for patients in late 2021.
- In addition, 30 new permanent full-time paramedic positions and three additional ambulances are being added to better support people living in Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith.
Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors –
“Nanaimo and Parksville are vibrant communities, and seniors living here deserve the very best care. This investment will help improve the lives of seniors and others living in residential care, and it will go a long way to better support staff who work incredibly hard and do a great job.
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“Residential care homes in the Nanaimo-Parksville region pride themselves on creating a home-like environment for residents. To continue to support residents and staff, these homes have been in need of additional staff for a long time, and I’m proud our government is taking the action needed to better support care homes and improves lives for seniors.”
Isobel Mackenzie, seniors advocate –
“Island seniors will benefit from this increase in staffing levels in long-term care. I’m pleased to see more support for staff as they provide care for our frail and vulnerable elderly.”
Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health –
“When people come into long-term care, they and their families expect and deserve the highest quality care possible. This investment will support staff to provide the best care to seniors and those living in care homes. We applaud the B.C. government for its ongoing commitment to the Nanaimo-Parksville region and across Vancouver Island in providing better care for seniors and those who care for them.”
- Nanaimo-Parksville contracted residential care homes receiving increased funding for direct care include: Eden Gardens, Kiwanis Village Lodge, Malaspina Gardens, Nanaimo Seniors Village, Wexford Creek and Woodgrove Manor in Nanaimo and Arrowsmith Lodge and Stanford Seniors Village in Parksville.
- Residential care homes offer seniors 24-hour professional supervision and care in a safe and secure environment.
- Health-care assistants are frontline care providers who work in a variety of institutional and community settings, including home support agencies and residential care homes.
- In April 2018, the ministries of Health, and Advanced Education, Skills and Training announced approximately $3.3 million to create new health-care assistant seats in 11 post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia to increase staffing levels in residential care homes and community care sectors.
- Approximately 50% of health-care assistants in B.C. are part-time or casual.
- Through the $240-million investment over three years, the average will increase to 3.24 hours by 2019, and reach 3.36 by 2021.
- Progress has been made with almost 270,000 more care hours now being provided by converting part-time and casual staff to full time. New funding of $48.4 million in 2018 will add more than one million hours of direct care.
For more information on new health care assistant seats, visit:
For more information on increasing staffing in residential care homes, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0072-001861
A backgrounder follows.