Burnaby, B.C. (December 13, 2016): Earlier today the Office of the Seniors Advocate (OSA) released its annual “Monitoring Seniors’ Services” report. While it covers a number of different areas, the report reveals that wait times to secure a residential care bed are increasing while fewer seniors are gaining access to home care services.
According to the OSA report:
- In 2015/16, on a provincial level, the average home support hours delivered per year per client decreased by approximately 2% from the previous year, while the number of clients increased by 2%.
- Average and median wait times for residential care grew longer in three of five regional health authorities. The proportion of residents admitted to residential care within the target window of 30 days decreased from 64% in 2014/15 to 57% in 2015/16.
- The number of residential care beds has increased 3.5% since 2012, while the number of seniors aged 85 and older has increased 21% over the same time period.
“It’s fairly clear from this report that in some key areas related to seniors care are facing some significant challenges,” says Daniel Fontaine, CEO for the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA). “With a rapidly aging population, it is imperative we make new investments to increase the overall capacity of both home care and residential care in B.C.”
“Nevertheless,” continues Fontaine, “there are several key areas where there has been some marked improvement, such as the reduction of use of anti-psychotic medications, and improved access to doctors.”
Earlier this year, the BCCPA launched MyCareFinder.ca which helps provide the public with access to information regarding underused care beds in the province. In a survey of BCCPA members, it was determined that while seniors were waiting to access care back in the community, hundreds of private care beds were sitting empty.
“There is a real person, a senior, behind every one of those statistics,” says Fontaine. “They need to have the confidence they can access the right care, at the right time, in the right place.”
In May of 2016, the BCCPA released two major White Papers outlining possible options for the future delivery of seniors care. The papers formed the basis of a 5-month public consultation which culminated with the Continuing Care Collaborative event in September. A final report including a comprehensive set of recommendations will be made public next month.
For a copy of the Seniors’ Advocate report, visit their website.
Mike Klassen, Vice-President,
Communications and Stakeholder Relations