Province to Boost Care For Seniors
Prince George, B.C.- 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 , including increasing direct-care hours for seniors in residential care.
The year-over-year funding increases will enable each health authority to reach a consistent average of 3.36 direct-care hours per resident day at all 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
To meet the goal, health authorities and private contractors will have to hire about 1,500 more staff including health-care assistants, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. The plan also calls for specialized community service programs to be introduced throughout B.C. to support seniors with complex medical conditions such as frailty, dementia, multiple chronic illnesses or end-of-life care needs.
Included in the $500 million is $275 million to be provided over the next four years for home- and community-care services as part of the recent health funding agreement with the federal government. Over and above the $500 million, health authorities also will continue increasing their budgets for home and community care over the next four years, reaching approximately $200 million above current levels by 2020-21.