BC Care Providers Association Launches #CareCanBeThere Campaign
Seniors care association proposes over $300 million in new annual investments
See follow-up post: #CareCanBeThere media wrap-up
(Burnaby, B.C.) January 24, 2017: Are you feeling anxious about whether adequate care will be there for you or your aging family members today or in the future?
A new province-wide campaign launched by the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) today is aimed at B.C. families who need more access to supportive seniors care. Dubbed the “Care Can Be There” (hashtag: #CareCanBeThere) campaign, the BC Care Providers Association are inviting the public to join the conversation on how to enhance and innovate care for B.C. seniors.
“After consulting hundreds of British Columbians over the past year through direct meetings, online surveys, a public poll, and an industry collaborative, we are tabling 30 recommendations to enhance and innovate seniors care as outlined in a new report,” says BC Care Providers CEO Daniel Fontaine. “We have grouped them under four pillars — Investing in People, Investing in Infrastructure, Investing in Innovation, and Investing in Quality of Life. Our proposals will ensure that the care can be there for B.C. seniors, and forestall a potential crisis brought on by our aging population.”
The BCCPA report titled Strengthening Seniors Care: A Made-in-BC Roadmap is available online at bccare.ca. The plan is fully costed out over 5 years, and will require over $300 million in new annual investments from the Province of British Columbia.
#CareCanBeThere Video Ad
#CareCanBeThere Radio Ad
Highlights of the Plan
Investing in People
- Set as a minimum 3.36 direct care hours per day, per senior in publicly funded care homes
- Increase the minimum home care visit from the current 15 minutes to 30 minutes
- Invest up to $5 million per year over the next 5 years to recruit, train and retain the necessary workers to support a rapidly ageing population
- Allocate up to $20 million to re-purpose underutilized/unused care beds in order to meet the BC government’s commitment to further expand end-of-life care by 2021
Investing in Infrastructure
- Target up to $100 million in new infrastructure funding to support the replacement and refurbishment of older care homes. This funding could be used to reduce workplace injuries by installing new ceiling lifts as well as helping to move toward the goal of ensuring 100% of BC care homes have automated sprinkler systems.
Investing in Innovation
- Dedicate up to $2 million to pilot a new Care Credit program which would increase choice and access for seniors requiring home care and support services across B.C. Incorporate a feasibility study regarding expanding the Care Credit program into long-term care.
- Support the establishment of continuing care hubs – with a focus on rural BC – which aims to better allow people to age in place.
Investing in Quality of Life
- Dedicate up to $100 per month for every senior in publicly funded residential care in order to dramatically increase nutritional choice & life enhancing therapies.
In addition, BCCPA is recommending the Ministry of Health set as a target that by 2021 no more than 5% of all acute care beds be occupied by a senior awaiting care in the community. Currently about 13% of hospital beds, which can cost up to $1,800 per day, are filled with patients who are ready to be discharged into another level of care.
“The care can be there only if both Federal and Provincial leaders sign on to support new investments in care,” adds Fontaine. “In addition to our discussions with the Province, we are strongly urging Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott to get back to the negotiating table and sign a new National Health Accord with the B.C. government.”
BCCPA’s recently released Sandwich Generation poll conducted by Insights West indicated three-in-five British Columbians struggling to meet their care needs say new investments will affect their vote in the upcoming provincial election.
For More Information:
Mike Klassen, Vice-President
Communications and Stakeholder Relations
- BCCPA releases two White Papers focusing on funding and innovation in May 2016
- Policy Café. Over 30 BCCPA Annual Conference delegate review and provide feedback on White Papers – May 29th, 2016
- Over 750 British Columbians complete online public opinion survey – June – September, 2016. 65% self-identify as being a senior.
- Over 140 stakeholders including from the Ministry of Health, Health Authorities, labour, care providers, academia and seniors attend the inaugural Continuing Care Collaborative. Offered opportunity to vote on ideas put forward in White Papers. – September 2016
- 1,200 British Columbians surveyed by Insights West regarding their perceptions of seniors care and the ‘sandwich generation’ – January 2016
“I think what caught certainly me by surprise…was that 82% of the [care home] facilities are below the provincial guidelines on funded care hours. Which are the recommended ministry guideline is 3.36 hours per resident per day…I think we need to come up with a plan about how we are going to get these facilities to our minimum recommended guideline.”
– Isobel Mackenzie, BC Seniors Advocate, CBC Radio One – April 7, 2016
“There will be a recommendation about what that [direct care hours] number should be. I’ve seen enough and heard enough to know that a minimum of 3.36 hours certainly makes sense. On the other hand, as we are going through this review … if we are going to establish a minimum, let’s make sure we get it right.”
– Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors, Vancouver Sun – September 20, 2016
“At Family Caregivers of BC, we support many caregivers who are juggling the triple demands of aging parents, children and work. Some are facing very challenging situations, torn between their financial security, the conflicting needs of their children and parents and their own well-being. We need to consider the significant impact that caregiving has on individuals, families, employers and society as a whole.”
– Barb MacLean, Executive Director, Family Caregivers of BC
Investing in People
“An investment in people is an investment in caring. We applaud the BCCPA for recommending an increased investment in people leading to the recruitment and retention of those who provide care for our elders in residential and community settings.”
– Anita Dickson, President, Licensed Practical Nurses Association of BC
Investing in Infrastructure
“The physical characteristics of a space have a huge impact on people with dementia in long-term care. The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s vision is for a dementia-friendly society. The BCCPA’s recommendation to increase of investment in infrastructure would assist in ensuring that design considers the challenges that people with dementia experience and will help that vision become reality.”
– Maria Howard, CEO, Alzheimer Society of BC
“The continuing care sector faces significant challenges when it comes to workplace safety. Overexertion injuries are common among continuing care staff. Investing in safety infrastructure like mechanical overhead lifts has been proven to not only reduce staff injuries, but also improve the quality of care seniors receive.”
– Jennifer Lyle, Executive Director, SafeCare BC
Investing in Innovation
“Care Credits are an innovative concept that could allow seniors and their families more control and flexibility around the provision of care. Such a program would be the first of its kind in Canada, borrowing all the best elements from similar programs from Europe and the United Kingdom.”
– Sue Emmons, Chair, BCCPA Policy Committee
Investing in Quality
“Care homes have two fundamental responsibilities to residents. One, which addresses resident’s subsistence, is to provide them with shelter and food and to treat their illness and frailty. The other, which addresses resident’s full humanity, is to provide them with enjoyment, comfort, culture and companionship that compensates for that no longer available to them, and enriches their final days. We are pleased to see the BCCPA report recommend a new Quality of Life Fund which will contribute to the essential needs of people in care.”
– David Lemon, Executive and Artistic Director, Health Arts Societies
“We can enhance the quality of life for our seniors by providing a more diverse menu. Meal time is the main opportunity for socialization and hydration for the residents; by improving meal service there will be many offshoot benefits. It is very encouraging to see that BCCPA is recommending a new quality of life fund.”
– Suzanne Bush, Director of Hospitality Services, Fleetwood Place Care Facility