Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie at her office in Victoria. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie at her office in Victoria. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

B.C.’s advocate for seniors says the provincial home-support system falls short for those who want or need it most.

Isobel Mackenzie says most seniors want to stay in their own homes as long as possible, but government home supports are too expensive for many and underutilized.

She says the home-support program is a lifeline for seniors and can be a cost-effective alternative to people ending up in long-term care facilities but the system needs to change.

Her report finds complaints to the Patient Care Quality Office for home support have increased by 62 per cent over the last five years.

READ MORE: Care providers’ group call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The report concludes public home support is too expensive for most seniors, who are expected to pay $8,800 annually for daily visits.

Mackenzie’s report makes a series of recommendations, including making the program more affordable and increasing service levels.

The Canadian Press

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