BC Seniors Advocate Isobelle Mackenzie (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. senior care improving, but most far below staffing target

Seniors Advocate finds 15% met care hours standard last year, up from 9%

The latest directory of B.C. seniors care facilities finds that as of last year, 15 per cent of them meet or exceed the provincial guideline of 3.35 hours of care per patient day.

That’s up from only nine per cent in 2015-16, B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie reported Wednesday in the latest edition of her Residential Care Facilities Quick Facts Directory.

The key reason for the shortfall is money to pay sufficient staff. The province-wide survey finds that overall, B.C. residential care facilities are funded at an average of 3.14 direct care hours per resident per day. Contracted facilities were funded for an average of 3.01 hours, and health authority owned and operated facilities averaged 3.35 hours, almost up the the B.C. government’s target.

Jennifer Whiteside, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union, said Wednesday’s report is a familiar story of understaffed facilities in B.C, with 85 per cent of them still not meeting the government’s own standard.

“When there are not enough staff on shift to do their jobs to the highest possible standard, seniors and those who provide their care are put at risk,” Whiteside said. “Staff simply cannot provide the level and quality of care needed to keep themselves and their residents safe.”

The directory contains information on 293 residential care facilities that have 27,142 publicly subsidized beds. The online database is now searchable by regional health authority, municipality and name of care facility, so seniors and their families can check the status of each one.

About 8,800 of those beds are operated directly be a provincial health authority and the other 18,000 are operated by contractors with funding from a health authority.

“Health authority-owned and operated facilities have higher average funded direct care hours, higher rates of therapy, fewer single-occupancy rooms, more complex and physically-dependent residents, and fewer reportable incidents and substantiated complaints compared to contracted facilities,” according to the Seniors Advocate office.

Just Posted

Trick-or-treaters, and everyone else, welcomed to the Crescent

Victoria Crescent neighbourhood partners with City of Nanaimo on new welcome signs

Regional District of Nanaimo board will be almost all new

Only 3-4 directors out of 19 returning to RDN board table

Premier promises Nanaimo byelection before February budget debate

Historically safe NDP seat will be vacated by longtime MLA Leonard Krog

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Northfield intersection realignment won’t improve traffic flow

Is the new design actually any better, asks letter writer

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after concussion

Rookie is back practising after being sidelined by Florida defenceman Mike Matheson

UPDATED: 34 rescued off whale watching boat in Georgia Strait

Tour company says vessel experienced some kind of mechanical issue

Pipeline opponents blast Trans Mountain re-approval plan

Environmental advocates, First Nations leaders say NEB review has same flaws as it had before

Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy: report

Canada among healthiest wealthy countries, but 8,000 overdose deaths since 2016 are causing concern

B.C. cold case helps ‘60 Minutes’ explain genetic genealogy

An arrest in the 1987 double-murder of two people from Victoria was one of three examples highlighted in a segment you can watch here

Delivery of cannabis could be impacted by postal strike

BC Liquor Distribution Branch look at alternative third-party delivery services

Local businesses that go above and beyond honoured at annual gala

Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island Torch Awards go Nov. 2 at the Union Club

Most Read