In today’s Throne Speech read in the BC Legislature by Lt. Governor Judith Guichon, the Government of British Columbia mapped out strong commitments to our province’s seniors. There is good news for the province’s care providers, those they care for and their loved ones.
In her speech, Her Honour Judith Guichon said:
“Our health care system is particularly important for our senior citizens – those who cared for us, and are counting on us to care for them.
“Your government is committed to increasing the number of residential care beds by 500, and ensuring clear, measureable daily care hour standards are in place, monitored, and enforced in every institution.
“Your government will also increase its efforts to help families who care for their aging loved ones at home by doubling the Home Renovation Tax Credit to help people make necessary home improvements. It will also create a new Respite Tax Credit, and ensure both benefits apply to families who care for loved ones with disabilities.”
“We are very encouraged by the fact the BC government is talking about seniors care in a way that addresses some of our members’ priorities,” says Fontaine. “We have long championed the need for direct care hour (DCH) standards, and upholding the commitment to a minimum of 3.36 DCH per care home. The government has signalled they will deliver on this standard.”
BCCPA is currently supporting the Ministry of Health’s efforts to develop a standard for measuring direct care hours.
“The commitment to increase the number of residential care beds is also positive news,” adds Fontaine. “We will reach out to the Ministry of Health to see how our members can help create this new capacity where it is needed most.”
Fontaine notes as well that the proposed renovation tax credit is good news for seniors who want to improve their comfort and safety within their home.
BCCPA President Karen Baillie also acknowledges the efforts by government to strengthen seniors care.
“The continuing care sector has a lot to be thankful for in 2017, with the largest commitments from government toward seniors seen in a generation,” says Baillie. “We are grateful to all the parties and the Members of the Legislature who have stepped up in support of our seniors. Our Association and our board looks forward to working with the government and opposition members during the upcoming session.”
To read the entire Speech from the Throne, click here.