The EquipCare BC program begins accepting applications for its Period 3 funding allocations beginning Thursday, April 1, 2021.
The $10-million program is a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA). It was announced on April 4, 2020, and was established to support seniors living in long-term care and assisted-living residences.
“We know that seniors and residents of long-term care and assisted-living homes need more supports as they are most vulnerable to complications associated with COVID-19,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Through the EquipCare program, we are making sure residents and health-care workers remain protected with enhanced infection prevention and control measures.”
In response to B.C.’s emergency COVID-19 response plan, EquipCare BC's Period 1 funding focused on infection prevention and control (IPC).
Future application periods will include IPC items for all assisted-living and long-term care homes primarily serving seniors, with eligible items expand to improving safety and quality for publicly funded applicants. IPC funds are used to purchase personal protective equipment (masks, gloves and gowns), including outbreak carts, medical screening devices, mobile hand-hygiene sinks, touchless towel and soap dispensers, environmental cleaning products and safe-handling equipment for food, waste and laundry.
Funds for future periods will cover more eligible items for publicly funded applicants primarily serving seniors, including items such as lifts, beds, urgent-response systems and quality-of-life items, such as Snoezelen multi-sensory rooms, sensory equipment, lighting and visual aids, music therapy and ergonomic furniture.
“Protecting seniors and those caring for them is essential, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mable Elmore, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors and Long-Term Care. “This program will give long-term care and assisted-living residences more opportunities to be equipped with the tools they need to protect residents and caregivers in these residences.”
Terry Lake, CEO of BCCPA and EngAge BC, said, “We are pleased to be opening a third round of funding that continues to support much-needed infection prevention and control resources, and also continue to enhance the safety and quality needs of seniors and those providing care.”
Oversight for EquipCare BC is provided by a group of industry stakeholders and government, including representatives from BCCPA, SafeCare BC, Denominational Health Association and the Ministry of Health. Expert advice in infection prevention and control is also provided by ministry staff.
- EquipCare BC expands the mandate and scope of the Seniors Safety Quality Improvement Program (SSQIP).
- SSQIP funded $10 million of safety and quality improvements to 99% of eligible long-term care operators in B.C.
- Through the program, operators have purchased more than 8,000 new items, including beds and mattresses, shower chairs and tubs, mobility equipment, lighting and visual aids, sensory rooms, music therapy and ergonomic furniture.
To learn more about Period 1 of the EquipCare BC program, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0121-000628
To learn more about the BC Care Providers Association and EquipCare BC, visit: https://bccare.ca/