Seniors in the Vancouver Coastal Health region are benefiting from an investment of over $9.1 million in 2018-19 to increase staffing levels and ensure that seniors get the care they need in residential care homes.
This initial investment starts year one of a three-year plan to increase the direct care that seniors receive in residential care homes in Vancouver Coastal Health and around the province – to reach the target 3.36 care hours per resident-day, on average across health authorities, by 2021.
“We are delivering on the Premier’s commitment to residents in long-term care across B.C.,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This standard of care for long-term care was set in 2008. In 2017, when I became Minister of Health, more than 86% were still below standard, many significantly so. Under the plan that Premier John Horgan announced, clear action is now being taken to meet this target.”
The over $9.1 million investment in care hours for the region is part of the $48.4 million being allocated to health authorities in 2018-19 to fund over one million more hours of direct care throughout the province. This increased funding for residential care is the first allocation in the three-year investment of $240 million to increase direct care seniors receive to 3.36 hours per resident-day average by health authority, as announced in September 2018. In 2016, the average direct care hours in British Columbia were 3.11 per resident-day.
“Seniors will be getting more help with dressing, or meals, or getting the assistance they need to join a social activity. For staff this means they have more time to spend with the people they care for, and for families it can mean peace of mind, knowing that their loved ones are getting the one-on-one time needed from staff for safe, quality care,” Dix said.
Across the 29 residential care homes that received funding in Vancouver Coastal Health, approximately 112,000 additional direct care hours have been provided by the end of September 2018.
“Staff at residential care homes care a great deal for the seniors they see every day and are extremely dedicated to the work they do. These investments are aimed at supporting both the people living in residential care facilities and those who look after them," said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “This is clear action that government is taking to help British Columbians in care live healthy, fulfilling lives.”
Increasing the staff hours in residential care homes in Greater Vancouver is part of work underway to improve the quality of life for seniors and their caregivers in B.C.
This includes $75 million over three years to expand respite care and adult day programs, providing much-needed relief to family-and-friend caregivers throughout the province.
“This funding from the Province will help our staff provide the best possible care to seniors in our region and help us keep striving for better results,” said Mary Ackenhusen, president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health. “The increase in face-to-face, direct care between staff and people living in residential facilities will have a profound impact on residents’ well-being.”
- 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 direct care hours in B.C. will increase from 3.11 per resident-day in 2016 to 3.24 by 2019 and reach 3.36 by 2021.
- 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: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0019-000666
For more information on increasing staffing in residential care homes, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0072-001861
A backgrounder follows.