Seniors' Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says new staffing means more baths and better quality of life for people in residential care.

Senior care will improve, health minister vows

BC Liberal government pledges $500 million more for residential, home and community care over four years

The B.C. government is heeding its seniors’ care advisors and will hire 1,500 more people over the next four years to assist seniors in residential care, Health Minister Terry Lake said Thursday.

Lake pledged $500 million more over four years to bring the average care provided to 3.3 hours per resident per day, including health-care assistants, nurses and physiotherapists. The money is included in the pre-election budget presented in February.

B.C. Seniors’ Advocate Isobel Mackenzie praised the commitment to increase respite care for families caring for a frail elderly relative at home, and increasing support in care homes.

“It could mean that I can go to the bathroom within 15 minutes of asking, instead of 45.” Mackenzie said. “It might mean I can ask for a bath on Tuesday and get one, even though I had one on Saturday. It might mean I can get the aide to walk me to the dining room using my walker, rather than put me in a wheelchair, because that’s the faster way to get me there.”

Lake said the plan will include a “robust monitoring system” to ensure that the funded hours of care are being delivered, whether facilities are run by health authorities, non-profits or private care homes.

NDP health critic Judy Darcy rejected Lake’s description of waiting for the provincial budget and a recent agreement with Ottawa on new health transfers that targets funding for home care. She said federal health transfers have been increasing six per cent each year for the past 10 years, while the B.C. government boasts of surpluses as large as $2 billion last year.

“The government has made the wrong choices for 16 years, and has neglected seniors’ care to the point where it’s become a crisis and a national shame,” Darcy said.

The fund allocation in the plan is an extra $45 million for the fiscal year that begins April 1, rising by a further $125 million in 2019, $150 million in 2020 and $180 million in 2021.

Lake said it includes a $10 million fund for equipment such as wheelchairs and ceiling lifts, to reduce the injuries to care home workers moving patients.

Hospital Employees’ Union business manager Jennifer Whiteside praised the plan, and called for stricter limits on private care home profits and contracting out by health authorities.

“More staff means that proper, un-rushed care and greater dignity for seniors are possible,” Whiteside said.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Glow Christmas’ opens for the holiday season

Massive Langley light show features 500,000 lights

Crime Severity Index study puts Langley City in top 10 ‘most dangerous’

Break & enter, robbery stats push City to sixth place nationally, according to MacLean’s magazine

E-transfer scam drains Langley woman’s bank account

Police warn of several sophisticated scams that have cost locals thousands of dollars

Youth arrested in connection to Brookswood Secondary lockdown

A 17-year-old involved in pepper spray incident alleged to return to school with firearm

Angel trucks everywhere in Langley

The Jackmans donated a brand new truck to Kimz Angels, making that four in the fleet

SFU creates fund in memory of Aiden Serr

A celebration of his life on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. at Maple Ridge Baptist Church.

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Celebrating 4-H in Canada

Langley youths highly active in 4-H movement, welcome new members

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Santa Claus is coming to Aldergrove

Christmas celebrations and parade set for Saturday, Dec. 9

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Most Read