Bryan Gay, care aide at Menno Place, Karen Ballie, CEO of Menno Place, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and Laurie Leith, Fraser Health vice president.
Bryan Gay, care aide at Menno Place, Karen Ballie, CEO of Menno Place, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and Laurie Leith, Fraser Health vice president.

Seniors in Abbotsford, Agassiz and Chilliwack are benefiting from a more than $4-million investment in 2018-19 to increase staffing levels and ensure that seniors get the care they need.

ABBOTSFORD – Seniors in Abbotsford, Agassiz and Chilliwack are benefiting from a more than $4-million investment in 2018-19 to increase staffing levels and ensure that seniors get the care they need in residential care homes.

This initial investment starts year one of a three-year plan to increase the direct care that seniors receive in residential care homes in these communities and around the province – to reach the target 3.36 care hours per-resident day, on average across health authorities, by 2021.

“Improving care for seniors in the Fraser Valley is another step forward in our government’s commitment to strengthen the day-to-day care seniors receive in residential care homes. Approximately 100,000 more direct-care hours are to be provided in Abbotsford, Agassiz and Chilliwack residential care homes this fiscal year alone, which helps give seniors the care and quality of life they deserve,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“For more than 10 years, the goal of improving care in residential care homes had not been achieved. Under the plan that Premier John Horgan announced in 2018, our government is taking clear actions to meet the target of 3.36 care hours per-resident day, on average, by health authority.”

The more than $4-million investment in care hours for Abbotsford, Agassiz and Chilliwack is part of the $48.4 million allocated to health authorities in 2018-19 to fund over one million more hours of direct care throughout the province. This increased funding for residential care is the first allocation in the three-year investment of $240 million to increase direct care that seniors receive to 3.36 per-resident-day average by health authority, announced in September 2018. In 2016, the average direct care hours in British Columbia were 3.11 per-resident-day.

In the 13 homes that have received funding in these communities, approximately 50,000 additional direct care hours were provided by the end of September 2018. Increasing the staff hours in residential care homes in these three communities is just one of several health-care improvements underway in the region. These include:

  • Dramatically increasing the volume of MRIs in Fraser Health. Over 8,500 more scans are being performed this fiscal year, increasing scans to 63,000. The two MRI clinics purchased by the government, including one in Abbotsford, will add 10,000 scans to the region next fiscal.
  • Expanding the day programs for older adults across Fraser Health with 369 new weekly spaces, including new weekend spots, to provide caregivers with increased support and flexibility when their loved one receives care.
  • Opening an additional 20 publicly funded residential care beds in Chilliwack with an average of 3.36 direct-care hours per-resident day.

Quotes:

Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors –

“Residential care homes throughout the province have waited a long time for the investments they need to improve care for seniors, and I’m proud our government is taking action to support them. When we support residential care homes, we are improving the daily life of B.C.’s seniors living in care.”

Isobel Mackenzie, seniors advocate –

“More direct care hours mean Fraser Valley seniors will receive more day-to-day care and staff get the support they need. I’m pleased to see the government is providing funding as the needs increase.”

Laurie Leith, vice-president of regional hospitals and communities, Fraser Health –

“We want to ensure all Fraser Health residents are well cared for respectfully, with dignity and in an environment that supports them. An increase in direct care hours allows staff to better meet the needs of residents by spending more time with each of them throughout the day – helping them bathe, get ready in the morning and remaining socially and physically active.”

 

Quick facts:

  • Residential care homes offer seniors 24-hour professional supervision and care in a safe and secure environment.

  • In April 2018, the ministries of Health and Advanced Education, Skills and Training announced approximately $3.3 million to create new health-care assistant seats in 11 post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia to increase staffing levels in residential care homes and community care sectors.

  • Health-care assistants are frontline care providers who work in a variety of institutional and community settings including home support agencies and residential care homes.

  • Approximately 50% of health-care assistants in B.C. are part-time or casual.

  • Through the $240-million investment over three years, the average direct care hours in B.C. will increase from 3.11 care hours per resident day in 2016 to 3.24 by 2019, reaching 3.36 by 2021.

  • Progress has been made with almost 270,000 more care hours now being provided by converting part-time and casual staff to full time.

  • New funding of $48.4 million in 2018 will add more than one million hours of direct care.

Learn more:

For more information on new health-care assistant seats, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0019-000666

For more information on increasing staffing in residential care homes, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0072-001861

Contacts:

Ministry of Health
Communications
250-952-1887 (media line)

Fraser Health
Media Line
604-613-0794


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