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

Shaving minutes off commutes among the goals for Victoria bus lanes

Work on southbound Douglas Street lane between Tolmie and Hillside getting underway

VicPD nab distracted driver with expired licence

On the phone while in motion, man had overdue fines from driving while impaired

Cooking with ‘Killer’

Reporter Dawn Gibson shares some of her favourite meals to make

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Sirens don’t sing in tsunami warning for Esquimalt

Officials pleased with process, say sirens would have been activated had threat escalated.

WATCH: Greater Victoria residents gather at higher ground during tsunami warning

Ocean Boulevard and the Esquimalt Lagoon reopened shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

Castlegar homicide victim identified

The victim was 38-year-old Jordan Workman of Castlegar, B.C.

B.C. Liberals get one last prime-time pitch

Leadership campaign to be decided in Feb. 3 vote

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

How high is safe from a tsunami? Four metres above sea level

Be disaster ready with food, water and clothing for seven days

Victoria Film Festival set for triumphant return to the big screen

Two decades on, diverse film lineups keep movie-goers coming to the box office

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victoria’s most wanted for the week of Jan. 23

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrests or the seizure of property or drug

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Most Read