There are 28,000 seniors in publicly funded residential care today, and only 15 per cent of facilities are meeting the provincial standard for daily care hours. Photo: Flicker/Creative Commons

Province provides funding to increase care for seniors

Close to $5.3 million allocated for Interior Health for this year

An investment of nearly $5.3 million will increase staffing levels at residential care facilities in the Interior Health region.

The initial investment is part of a three-year plan to increase the direct care seniors receive in care facilities. The target is 3.36 care hours per resident-day, on average, by 2021.

“Under the plan that Premier John Horgan announced in 2018, our government is taking clear action to meet the target of 3.36 care hours per resident-day, on average, by health authority,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

While the target had been set in 2008, Dix said fewer than three in 20 homes met that standard in 2017. In 2016, the average direct care hours province wide were 3.11 per resident per day.

“This meant below-standard care, fewer baths and a lower quality of life than our parents and grandparents deserve,” Dix said.

The funding will add around 156,000 direct care hours to be provided in the Interior Health region this year alone.

The funding of nearly $5.3 million for the region is part of $48.4 million to fund more than one million additional hours of direct care provincewide.

It is part of a three-year investment of $240 million to increase care hours province wide.

A total of 31 care homes have received funding in the Interior Health region, and around 77,000 additional direct care hours have been provided by the end of September, 2018.

“People living in residential care expect to receive the best day-to-day support possible, and this investment is vital to delivering on the Province’s promise to improve supports for patients outside of hospital,” said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors.

“Staff at residential care homes work incredibly hard and care a great deal for the seniors they see every day. These investments are more than just numbers — they’re supporting people.”

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