About Seniors Living and Care

What do BCCPA & EngAge BC do?

  • BCCPA is the leading voice for B.C.’s continuing care sector. Our growing membership base includes over 450 long-term care, assisted living, and commercial members from across British Columbia. Through its operating arm EngAge BC, the organization represents independent living and private-pay home health operators. Read more here [link to about us].
  • Our members support more than 19,000 seniors annually in long-term care and assisted living settings and 6,500 independent living residents. Additionally, our members deliver almost 2.5 million hours of home care and home support services each year.

What is the seniors living and care continuum?

  • There are four key components of the seniors living and care continuum which work together to support seniors.
    • Independent living: Independent living is a good option for seniors who are confident in their ability to live alone safely, but don’t want to worry about things like home maintenance, housekeeping or cooking. Seniors who chose independent living also feel more confident knowing that help is there if they need it and enjoy the amenities and activities available in their retirement community.
    • Home health care: Home care and home support options enable seniors to get the help they need at home. Services range from publicly subsidized care, which is delivered through the person’s health authority, to customized private-pay options, which can include medical care, transportation, companionship, and home making.
    • Assisted living: Assisted living homes are for seniors who can still live independently and make decisions for themselves but require additional support due to physical or health challenges. Assisted living services provide housing, hospitality services (like meals and homemaking), and personal care services.
    • Long-term care: Long-term care homes are an option for seniors who need 24-hour professional support and care because of their physical needs, or because they have advanced Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. For many seniors, this is the best option when the person can no longer be cared for in their own home or in an assisted living home.
  • Different considerations including cognition, overall health, and ability to live alone safely all affect the level of care and/or support a senior requires.
  • In some cases, one building or “campus” will include different types of support and care – e.g., independent living, assisted living and long-term care.
  • Factors such as the ability to pay for private care, and individual needs and preferences will also affect what kind of care and/or support a senior chooses.

What impacts will an aging population have on the sector?

  • According to 2021 census data, people over 85 are the fastest growing age group in the Country. This represents the beginnings of a significant demographic change. Specifically, the number of people over 85 has more than doubled since the 2001 census. It is expected to triple by 2046.
  • A recent RBC report forecasts that caring for seniors will consume 55 per cent of provincial and territorial health-care budgets in 2030, versus 45 per cent now.
  • The Conference Board of Canada projects that over the next two decades B.C. alone must build up to 30,000 net new care beds, or 1,500 per year. To put that number into perspective, the province has tendered approximately 800 net new long-term care beds since 2017. Even with approved funding it will take up to five years before a newly constructed care bed is occupied.
  • It is estimated that there will be up to 32,600 job openings in the sector, over the next ten years. Read more here.
  • Canada currently spends 30% less than the average OECD country on the provision of long-term care.

Where can seniors and people who support them go for more information?

Navigating the seniors living and care continuum can be challenging.


In 2019 EngAge BC, an operating arm of the BC Care Providers Association, launched Route 65. Route 65 is a free, online tool that helps connect seniors and their family members with the services offered by B.C.’s leading operators of independent living, assisted living, long-term care and home health care.

Route 65 is supported by a 1-800 number and includes:

Visit www.Route65.ca to learn more about the seniors living and care continuum.

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