An update: what can be done to keep seniors together?

Last month the BC Care Providers Association published an article about Lorraine and Joe Papp, a loving couple, who have been together for 62 years.  The couple were separated when Joe’s increasing care needs meant that it was no longer possible for him to remain at the Royal Crescent Gardens, the assisted living home where they had been residing. Two years after they were first separated, Lorraine and Joe are now back together at Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge.

We’re happy now,” Lorraine said in a CTV Vancouver interview. “It’s the end of our life – we know that, everybody knows that – and we’ll be together. That’s what counts.”

The story of the Papps is like that of Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk. The Gottschalk’s story received attention across the globe in 2016, when the couples were separated because there was not a care residence that could support the needs of both Wolfram and Anita. BCCPA helped to bring attention to this important issue, which culminated in the Gottschalk’s being reunited before Wolfram passed away, only a few months afterward.

BCCPA applauds Fraser Health’s efforts to ensure that the couple of more than six decades were reunited.

Mike Klassen, VP of Communications & Stakeholder Relations notes that stories like these are likely to continue to emerge as BC’s population ages and that these scenarios are complex and require creative solutions.

“We know that situations like these are incredibly challenging for everyone involved. BCCPA has been championing the adoption of care campuses and care hubs that combine different types of care within a single community, so that seniors can be supported together as their care needs change,” says Klassen.

“Innovation must be encouraged across the continuing care sector, because ultimately, no one wants to see seniors separated at the end of their lives unless it is completely necessary.”

Along with working with our members to bolstering innovation in the continuing care sector, BCCPA is also closely following the evolution of Bill 16, which is expected to affect how seniors are supported in Assisted Living. On July 5 the BCCPA released the Assisted Living Tenancy Task Force Review (the “Task Force”). Chaired by Tom Crump, the three-member Task Force which was engaged to determine the impact of Bill 16 regulatory changes on Assisted Living operators, as well as to assess other issues which are of importance to the sector. The Task Force determined that more clarity is needed on what impacts regulation changes will have on Assisted Living providers and the people they support.