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

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

‘The face of Belmont’: Custodial staff at Langford school pivot to support parents, students

Staff serve as point of contact for parents, students with school

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read