Seniors care factors prominently in Select Standing Committee’s 2018 report

BCCPA is pleased that seniors care has factored prominently amongst the 119 recommendations put forward by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on November 15.

With B.C.’s senior population expected to account for 24 to 27 per cent of the population by 2038 the Committee’s continued attention to seniors’ issues is merited.

Bob D’Eith, Chair

Each fall the tri-partisan committee, which is currently chaired by Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission with Dan Ashton, MLA for Penticton as deputy chair, is tasked with holding public consultations across the province to hear about the issues that matter most to British Columbians. These consultations are intended to inform the provincial budget for the following year.

Annually, BCCPA delivers a submission to the Select Standing Committee which highlights opportunities to strengthen quality of life and quality of care for B.C. seniors. The submission is informed through stakeholder consultation and research which highlights best practices from across Canada and internationally. Last year BCCPA’s proposals became recommendations 1, 2, and 3 out of a total of 102 in the Committee’s report.

Dan Ashton, Deputy Chair

BCCPA’s 2018 submission put forward new strategies while reiterating several positions discussed in previous BCCPA policy papers, such as increasing supporting a renewed health human resource strategy, and providing supports to improve quality of life for seniors, both in the community and in residential care.

“We’ve seen some extraordinary developments in British Columbia’s seniors sector over the last year, including BCCPA’s January “Care Can Be There” campaign, the federal announcement of a $1.4 billion 10-year health investment for B.C., the B.C. Government’s Action Plan to Strengthen Home and Community Care for Seniors which directed $500 million to raise staffing levels and direct care hours in care homes, and $10 million investment toward an industry-led Seniors Safety and Quality Improvement Program,” says Daniel Fontaine, BCCPA CEO.

“But with the population rapidly aging we can’t risk losing momentum. All levels of government, seniors care providers and community partners need to continually reaffirm our commitment to improving the system of care which we will all one day depend on,” adds Fontaine.

Report on the Budget 2018 Consultation

The Committee’s report included the following recommendations which focused on seniors care and were informed by BCCPA’s submission:

  • Expand home and residential care staffing and services throughout the entire continuum of care to ensure all seniors have access to affordable, quality care at the right time and at the right place, including investing in new care models.
  • Expand home and residential care staffing and services throughout the entire continuum of care to ensure all seniors have access to affordable, quality care at the right time and at the right place, including investing in new care models.
  • Implement, monitor and enforce staffing standards in residential care, including accelerating the goal of achieving a minimum of 3.36 hours per resident per day, investing in education and training, and improving employee compensation.

“With a rapidly aging population, the Government of B.C. should understand that we must place the needs of seniors among their top priorities and these recommendations are one indication of that. We look forward to working with the B.C. Government to take action on these recommendations, as well as working together to strengthen the quality of life for seniors, support the delivery of culturally appropriate care, and ensure the workforce necessary to support the growing needs of the sector,” says Fontaine.