Seniors at a residential care facility in Burnaby B.C., September 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Restrictions on assisted living facilities are being eased to allow B.C. seniors to stay longer and be more independent, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

Regulation changes are in effect to allow more flexibility in determining who qualifies for assisted living, Dix announced Wednesday.

“What this means for people is that they will not be forced prematurely to leave assisted living when they neither want to nor need to,” Dix said. “This is a very significant change.”

Assisted living provides support with daily living activities such as eating and dressing, managing medications, therapeutic diet, safe keeping of money and other personal property, intensive rehabilitation therapy, behaviour management and psychosocial supports. There are 7,300 assisted living beds in B.C., 4,400 of which are publicly funded, in addition to 28,000 long-term care beds.

“In the past, to qualify for assisted living, you could receive two and only two of those services,” Dix said. “If you required more than that, you were asked to move, or advised to move to long-term care.

“In fact the gulf between assisted living and long-term care is large. Long-term care is 24-hour care every day, and takes away from many people that sense of independence that they have.”

RELATED: Too many seniors in care, on drugs, seniors advocate says

RELATED: B.C. Minister Terry Lake introduces assisted living changes

The new regulations also give the assisted living registrar the ability to investigate assisted living residences, rather than only responding to complaints as has been the case.

Aside from offering more choice and independence to seniors, the province has a financial incentive to keep as many people out of costly residential care as possible. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie has reported on the issue of seniors being assigned to care homes when they have the cognitive and physical ability to stay home with medical and housekeeping support or move to assisted living.

Dix credited Mackenzie with raising the issue, and said the latest regulations will work towards maintaining independence and reducing residential care as the number and age of seniors in B.C. continues to rise.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Cannabis shop soon to open in Witset

Indigenous Bloom shop to be followed by cannabis cultivation facility in closed down sawmill

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

Orphaned bear cub named after Snowbirds Capt. Jenn Casey to be cared for in Smithers

Neighbours assist in capture of Tappen Triplets now in care of Northern Lights Wildlife Society

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Still a lot of work to do to fully connect regional district

Draft strategy shows dependence on on single fibre optic cable route, poor cellular service on roads

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

Most Read