BC Seniors Advocate Isobelle Mackenzie (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. senior care improving, but most far below staffing target

Seniors Advocate finds 15% met care hours standard last year, up from 9%

The latest directory of B.C. seniors care facilities finds that as of last year, 15 per cent of them meet or exceed the provincial guideline of 3.35 hours of care per patient day.

That’s up from only nine per cent in 2015-16, B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie reported Wednesday in the latest edition of her Residential Care Facilities Quick Facts Directory.

The key reason for the shortfall is money to pay sufficient staff. The province-wide survey finds that overall, B.C. residential care facilities are funded at an average of 3.14 direct care hours per resident per day. Contracted facilities were funded for an average of 3.01 hours, and health authority owned and operated facilities averaged 3.35 hours, almost up the the B.C. government’s target.

Jennifer Whiteside, secretary-business manager of the Hospital Employees’ Union, said Wednesday’s report is a familiar story of understaffed facilities in B.C, with 85 per cent of them still not meeting the government’s own standard.

“When there are not enough staff on shift to do their jobs to the highest possible standard, seniors and those who provide their care are put at risk,” Whiteside said. “Staff simply cannot provide the level and quality of care needed to keep themselves and their residents safe.”

The directory contains information on 293 residential care facilities that have 27,142 publicly subsidized beds. The online database is now searchable by regional health authority, municipality and name of care facility, so seniors and their families can check the status of each one.

About 8,800 of those beds are operated directly be a provincial health authority and the other 18,000 are operated by contractors with funding from a health authority.

“Health authority-owned and operated facilities have higher average funded direct care hours, higher rates of therapy, fewer single-occupancy rooms, more complex and physically-dependent residents, and fewer reportable incidents and substantiated complaints compared to contracted facilities,” according to the Seniors Advocate office.

Just Posted

Three charities receive generous donation from 100 Men Who Care

The organization meets four times a year to contribute funding to local initiatives

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Contenders to return for Okanagan tour

Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard and Blu and Kelly Hopkins will perform at six venues

LETTER: Examine past record when voting

Summerland mayoral candidate Toni Boot approaches each issue in a fair and open minded manner

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Most Read